(916-499-7707 or rrollens@aol.com)                                               

"The take away message today from the M.I.N.D. Institute's groundbreaking and comprehensive three year $1 million study is that California's rapidly growing autism epidemic is REAL, and that this epidemic cannot be explained away by increased awareness, better diagnosis or having missed these children in the past, or by confusing autism with other disorders, or by families moving to California for services for their autistic children.

It is clear that a purely genetic basis for autism cannot explain the rapidly increasing numbers of new cases of autism in California; in fact, as we all know...you cannot have a purely genetic disease epidemic. We now know that environmental factors are at play.

As a result of this study, those who have simply refused to believe that we are in the midst of a real autism epidemic no longer can put forth their simplistic explanations and denials that the epidemic exsist, indeed those explanations and denials have now been scientifically removed from the debate.

We now know that more parents then ever are reporting cases of regressive autism and gastrointestinal problems that plague their autistic children. We also know that over 1/3 of parents of young children with autism believe that vaccines caused their child's condition. 

This study sustains what many in the autism community believe, that is, that the autism epidemic is real and growing and that a major commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars to support research and treatments for this national health emergency is urgently needed. That efforts such as those that are underway at the M.I.N.D. Institute to examine the role of environmental factors such as toxic and viral exposures, as well as autoimmune issues, and childhood vaccinations in the development of autism should be immediately accelerated to the top of the autism research agenda."