Autism cluster found in New Jersey school

For our autism education today, this is an interesting article from The Record in New Jersey about a cluster of autism cases found in one school. The article reports the study found of 24 school staffers, 57 percent of their children were diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders and 24 percent were diagnosed with autism. Read more.

The Record
Autism study hints at school cluster
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A research study has found a possible autism cluster among children of teachers who worked at a Northvale school.

"While we cannot yet determine the cause of these findings, we can say for certain today that the prevalence of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders ... is statistically significantly higher," said study leader Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen.

The study's task force will now look at environmental factors at St. Anthony's that could have caused rates of autism and other learning disorders to be higher than state or national levels.

"Whether the building is contributing is speculation," said Rosen, also the medical adviser for the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center, which initiated the study.

The findings released Tuesday were based on interviews with 24 school staff members who came forward after 500 letters were mailed to present and past employees. Rosen said he doesn't know the total number of teachers with children who have worked at the school during the past 10 years but that he wants to interview all of them.

Read the rest at The Record.


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