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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Trump on Autism: "... a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase."

In The Politics of Autism, I explain prevalence and talk of an "autism epidemic."  I also analyze the issue's role in presidential campaigns.   In this campaign, a number of posts discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  He also has a bad record on science and disability issues more generally.

Remarks by President Trump at Parent-Teacher Conference Listening Session, February 14:
MS. QUENNVILLE: Hi, I’m Jane Quennville, and I’m a principal of a special-ed center in Virginia serving children ages five through twenty-two with autism and physical and medically fragile conditions.

THE PRESIDENT: How is that going?


THE PRESIDENT: Have you seen an increase in the autism with the children?

MS. QUENNVILLE: Yes, yes. In fact, our school has shifted its population -- saw more children with autism, definitely.

THE PRESIDENT: So what’s going on with autism? When you look at the tremendous increases, really, it’s such an incredible -- it’s like really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase. Do you have any idea? And you’re seeing it in the school?

MS. QUENNVILLE: Yes, I think -- I mean, I think the statistics, I believe, are 1 in 66, 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism.

THE PRESIDENT: And now it’s going to be even lower --


THE PRESIDENT: -- which is just amazing. Well, maybe we can do something.
Those who study the statistics will take exception to "the tremendous amount of increase." Self-advocates will take offense at "a horrible thing to watch."