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Autism on the Rise in CA

A new federal report showing autism to be more widespread that previously believed doesn’t include numbers from California. Even so, the latest figures from California health officials show a disturb

Autism on the Rise in CA

A new federal report showing autism to be more widespread that previously believed doesn’t include numbers from California. Even so, the latest figures from California health officials show a disturbing trend. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

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California health officials say the state identified more than 3,300 new cases of full syndrome autism in 2006. That represents a 16 percent increase over the prior year.           

San Diego resident Becky Estepp has a nine-year-old son with autism. He gets special services at his elementary school. Estepp is worried about what will happen when her son gets out of school.

<b> Estepp: </b> My son has nine years before he’s 18, and I don’t see programs set up to help him become a taxpayer and not a tax liability.”

Some parents blame a mercury-based preservative in childhood vaccines for the rise in autism. Scientists dismiss that theory.

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Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.