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 Autism overdiagnosis in QLD

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Join date : 2008-09-24

PostSubject: Autism overdiagnosis in QLD   Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:58 am

COURIER MAIL – Page 3 Wednesday 12 November 2008
Margaret Wenham

GP’s and schools in autism scandal

Queensland children in state schools are being diagnosed with autism at more than twice the rate of children in other states.

State MP for Murrumba Dean Wells made the astounding claim during the adjournment debate in the State parliament late last night.

He said one in 50 children was diagnosed with autism in Queensland compared with one in 150 children in Victoria and Western Australia.

“Obviously the staggeringly high rate of diagnosis is not due to the genetic attributes of Queenslanders, but to the willingness of certain medical practitioners, sometimes urged on by parents and teachers, to diagnose autism in order to attract additional resources from Education Queensland for the child,” Mr Wells said.

The practice had been exposed in the Journal of Paediatric and Child Health by a Brisbane paediatrician whose survey of doctors and child psychologists revealed 58 per cent admitted they had falsely diagnosed autism or diagnosed autism when there was some doubt, in order to attract additional resources for the child.

Mr Wells said the study indicated a large proportion of children diagnosed with autism in Queensland did not have the disorder. He said false diagnosis could lead to wrong treatment.

Mr Wells said the practice of “alternate coding” was not universal. He said the “epidemic” of false diagnosis of autism was concentrated in the suburbs around the surgeries of a limited number of practitioners.

End of transcript

The comments of the MP refers to a research paper Dr Catheryne Skellern wrote in 2004. Further information can be found in the URLs below.

how wrong is the system if a child cannot get the help s/he needs without resorting to lies which then cast doubt on the genuine.
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