Transcript of Autism Prevalence Rates on FOX & Friends

Rebecca Estepp on FOX & Friends discussing autism prevalence rates Watch video of Becky Estepp on FOX & Friends

Alisyn Camerota: Parents need to listen to this next segment. There has been a shocking new report from the CDC that 1 in 88 children are now being diagnosed with autism. Just five years ago, that number was 1 in 150 children. So what is causing this dramatic jump? That’s what parents like our next guest want to know. Rebecca Estepp is the Director of Communications for the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law & Advocacy. Rebecca, great to see you.

Rebecca Estepp: Thanks for having me Allison.

Alisyn: Your son was diagnosed with Autism in the year 2000 and since then, you have been a very vocal and involved member of the autism community. But even you, on Thursday, were shocked when you saw these new CDC numbers that now the rate of autism is 1 in 88 kids. What was so surprising for you?

Rebecca: Well I was shocked to finally see the number but in lots of ways I wasn’t shocked. I was really upset that the government hasn’t done more about this. They were put on notice in 2000 by advocates like myself. Parents testified in Congress, they did papers, we marched on Washington and yet nobody listened to us. And now fast-forward to last Thursday, when we have been yelling the sky is falling, the sky fell and 1 in 88 kids, 2% of our boys have autism. What I want you to understand though, this is for 12-year-olds. They were eight years old in 2008.

Alisyn: The numbers, these latest numbers are based on 2008 when these kids were eight years old. So you are saying that there is a whole slew of younger kids that have not yet been sort of picked up by the CDC and noticed.

Rebecca: Exactly. We are seeing very consistently a 12% increase in autism every year. And if we are only looking at the kids that were born in the year 2000 when President Clinton was in office, what does that mean to the kids born in 2008, 2010; what does it mean for the kids born today?

Alisyn: And when you say that you have been trying to raise, to sound the alarm of this for years, you have been using the word epidemic, the government hasn’t liked to use the word epidemic. But at this point, what do you want the government to realize?

Rebecca: I want them to realize that they have failed. If they were like an NFL team and they have gone 0 and 16 for the past 12 years, they need to go; they need new coaching; they need new staffing. This is not okay. The future of our country and our young people depend on that. If you keep increasing it by 12% a year, we are going to be dealing with 1 in under 20, for the kids that are born today; if we follow the same trajectory, if we use the same criteria and that’s staggering. That’s frightening for all the moms that are pregnant right now.

Alisyn: And of course no one has ever been able to get to the bottom of really what causes autism or why this spike is happening. Do you think that now that these numbers are so alarming that there will be new treatment methods, there will be new research?

Rebecca: One can hope. The thing that keeps making me hopeful is that last year Stanford came out with a very important study that showed that the model that the CDC has been following of a genetics-only type research is wrong. We know now that autism is mostly caused by environmental factors. And the thing that I know from the study that came out on Thursday is that the rate of autism went up everywhere in the United States. So that means that kids are not eating the same food, they are not drinking the same water, they are not breathing the same air but what they do have in common is the vaccine schedule. I have looked up the statistics. 98% of parents still give vaccines. That’s the common factor. These things were injected straight into their body and you have tens of thousands of parental reports of vaccine injury.

Alisyn: And obviously the vaccines have always been called into question and they have in fact been pooh-poohed by the medical community however, you are saying that it’s time to look back at that because that’s the common denominator. Rebecca Estepp, we appreciate you coming in and sharing your mother’s perspective on this, and hopefully these new numbers will get people’s attention. We really appreciate it.

Rebecca: Thank you.