Autism Misdiagnosis

by | Apr 30, 2012

The number of children being diagnosed with autism is ever increasingly on the rise.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently reported that autism is almost twice as common as it was five years ago.  About twenty years ago, only a few per ten thousand children were diagnosed with autism.  Currently, one in eighty-eight children are diagnosed
according to the latest figures.  Autism has changed from a condition practically unheard of to something we hear about quite often.  Why did this dramatic increase occur?

The CDC is not sure why there is such an increase.  It could be that the definition of autism has broadened which actually could lead to misdiagnosis.  Forty years ago, only kids with severe language and social impairments or unusual repetitive behaviors, were diagnosed with autism.  Today the criteria has been changed to include milder symptoms and it is all under the
umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).   This means that a wide variety of
symptoms could be called ASD. 

There is definitely a non-optimum condition present that parents need help with, but autism is diagnosed purely on judgments regarding behavior and not on biological tests or blood tests.  This opens the door for autism misdiagnosis.  No exact science exists to diagnose the lack of
sociability, interaction, tantrums or repetitiveness.  As a result, psychiatrists only treat  these symptoms because they have no medical or scientific proof that any disorder exists in the body. 

With a variety of symptoms to treat, psychiatrists can prescribe dangerous mind-altering psychiatric drugs with serious adverse side effects.   Behavior therapy can cost up to forty-thousand dollars for just one child.  Needless to say, autism is big business with the potential for big profits from sales of drugs and therapy.  Autism misdiagnosis just adds to those profits.   
There is an abundance of state-financed support services which also could be a reason for the increase in diagnoses. 
It also should be noted that an increase in research on autism took place after the year 2000 and coinciding with that was an increase in autism diagnoses.  Initially the research was mandated by the government, but when one considers that pharmaceutical companies very often fund research
studies, it makes one wonder who really is to benefit by the research?  Research usually results in new drugs which support pharmaceutical companies’ big interest in profits.

There is no doubt that autism cases are on the rise and the possibilities for misdiagnosis are ample.  However, with no precise pathological tools to diagnose autism and a wide spectrum of symptoms to treat, it would be wise to get as much information as possible about autism so that one
can make informed decisions regarding treatment.


  1. roman soiko

    i decided if i ever have children i would homeschool my childrenI amhealing from all those disorders teachers labeled me with OCD ODDBipolar depressed schziophrenic Iam healing from all that

  2. Courtney Torres

    Three weeks ago, I took my son to be evaluated because I knew he was gifted and suspected possibly ADHD. We are a homeschool family and I was hoping for some direction on how to best teach him. I was told he is, in fact, gifted, and that he has Aspergers. I was also told that he would need extensive therapies every day of the week for at least the next two years. Two weeks later, at the insistence of a dear friend, I had him reevaluated by someone else and was told he meets NONE of the criteria for ASD. Not. One! I later found that our pediatrician is no longer referring patients to this practice because they had 5 patients in a row diagnosed with ASD. Highly unlikely! I realize the $3000 we spent on the phony diagnosis is gone forever, but I believe that this doctor at least, if not the whole practice, should be held accountable for robbing people and saddling these families with life-altering and very expensive diagnoses that don’t exist. What can I do??? Please help me and the many other families like mine!

    • CCHR Florida

      I apologize for not seeing your comment earlier. This is awful! Please either call 800-872-2878 and ask to speak to an advocate or fill out a report form on our website at we will investigate this and file applicable complaints, all free of charge.

  3. Tony p

    Thousands of children are misdiagnosed with autism who really have ODD, PDd, OVD or ADHD or a myraid of unique issues like Jenny McCarthys son, who had Lander Kleffner Syndrome, got seixure meds and allegedly “recovered”..and so IGNORANT and idiotic wrre McCarthys publishers they failed to ascertain facts about her non autistic son….just horrific fraud..McCarthys son was never autistic..and gee…we never hear about him since, right..first clue…fraud alert!!! So evil. Such a slap in face to parents of real chikdren with autism..fu dare you use this dx falsely for fame and for writing books ..sick beetches

  4. hillaryclin

    The underlying reason why more and more children are being diagnosed with autism is greed. The more children diagnosed with autism the more insurance carriers have to pay for ABA therapy, so now we have thousands of children being misdiagnosed with autism so they can get ABA services and qualify for other government programs. It’s kind of like the scam in California schools where school psychologists and other professionals diagnose ILLEGAL alien children who can’t speak English with “articulation disorders” so they can get FEDERAL funding for special education services for what is really an illegal aliens’ kid who can’t speak English. What a great scam this all is. Bravo.

  5. Roman Soiko

    I myself was diagnosed with autism yet everything these professionals said I cannot do I can do just fine lack of communication skills? I speak 13 languages Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish Portuguese Xhosa Zulu Chichewa Afrikaans Burmese Dutch lack of empathy My goal in life is to put an end to genocide around the world that’s empathy on the international level lack of understanding of abstract concepts a lot of international humanitarian law(law of armed conflict) is abstract concepts responsibility to protect jus ad bellum for example responsibility to protect states every state has the right and duty to protect it’s citizens from genocide war crimes and crimes against humanity and if they do not international intervention should occur jus ad bellum means how to wage war humanely lack of ability to form relationships I have an amazing girlfriend Precious Lutricia Chasowa who comes from a relationship oriented culture Malawian I dare those psychologists who diagnosed me “autistic” find Malawi on a map I even learned Chichewa for her (Ndiaphunzira Chichewa yankhulo chibwenzi chimalawi chiyankhulo chimodzi) then they told me I was OCD for enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the most translated document in the world according to Guinness Book of World Records Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for enforcing ODD for not following their prescriptions for my personal professional and educational life bipolar and depressed well how I am supposed to react to international criminal court crimes such as rape torture genocide slavery and apartheid
    The whole thing is a fraud

  6. Belina

    The epidemic of autism is rooted in the epidemic of idiot professionals who don’t know anything and are diagnosing children with ADHD, ODD, OCD and PDD with autism. It is pathetic how many kids today are almost all “high functioning autism” or have “a little bit of autism.” It’s a FRAUD. The problem is stupid psychiatrists. Compromised special educators and complete morons and incompetent fool psychologists who wouldn’t know what real autism is if it snuggled up to them and slapped them in the behind. Real autism is when a child does NOT speak to you as if they are normal kids. In fact, most don’t speak. If you have a kid or teen or adult that can live on their own, they aren’t autistic. It’s really that simple. You can be high functioning autism, but you will still need to live with someone because you will have no sense of danger and be vulnerable to harm. A person who isn’t truly autistic would be able to live on their own.

  7. David

    I am in Florida. I know there is the state board that licenses them but If I feel he was erroneously diagnosed what recourse is available for me to take beyond filing a complaint? Are there any regulatory requirements to ensure that the diagnostic criteria are fully met for a diagnosis that is given? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  8. David

    I share your concern regarding Autism diagnosis and was wondering if someone could help me out with some information. My son who is 5 years old is getting ready to be evaluated for ASD (through the ADOS). I have read the DSM 5 Diagnostic Criteria and I don’t see how he could possibly qualify. To me there is nothing wrong with him. What regulatory authority, laws, accrediting agencies ect. ect. are the medical professionals who provide diagnosis held accountable to? What information do I have a right to be provided with?


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