A new study recently published in Frontiers in Pediatrics provides evidence challenging one of the biggest myths about the autism epidemic among children, which is that “better diagnosis” is entirely responsible for the substantial increase in the diagnosis of cases of autism and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) over the past three decades. The study, “A prospective Longitudinal Assessment of Medical Records for Diagnostic Substitution among Subjects Diagnosed with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder in the United States,” independently analyzed Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) data that has been extremely difficult to obtain from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services until recently. As we head into this political season where it appears autism will be a topic of some discussion, hopefully this very important study will add context to the information we get from the media reporting on the autism epidemic.

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