In the article “Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: Changes over time and their meaning,” the author M. Rutter thoroughly explores two issues: whether or not autism rates have actually increased or if it has only been a result of “a considerable broadening of the diagnostic concept,” and also the reasons behind these increased numbers. Regarding the second topic of discussion, Rutter places a heavy amount of emphasis upon investigating the “hypothesized causal effect of MMR and thimerosal on autism spectrum disorders” since these sources have been primary suspects in the rise of autism cases. This article is significant because the growing rate of autism cases has come to the public’s attention recently, and, more importantly, the general public is starting to blame vaccines, both of which are talked about and analyzed in this piece. To establish credibility when talking about this area of science, Rutter incorporates summaries of numerous established studies that he reviews, such as the Chakrabarti and Fombonne study, the Baird study, and the Honda study, which each included different techniques for collecting data, such as using systematic sampling instead of random. In addition, Rutter relies on several statistics when constructing his final claim, particularly when he compares the current average cases of autism, which is about 30-60 per 10,000, to “the original estimate 40 years ago of 4 per 10 ,000.” Rutter uses his sources and establishes a final, trustworthy conclusion, stating that there is indeed an inevitable rise in autism cases; however he does include that this increase is, most likely, “due to the combination of better ascertainment and a broadening of the diagnostic concept.” At the same time, he does a good job not ruling out the idea of autism increasing all on its own, and stays true to the information that he had presented previously, so as not to make a mistake or a false assumption.


One response to “Annotation

  1. I find your annotation very effective in its structure and your word choice. You very clearly stated the author and name of the source. There were a fair amount of quotes alongside your summary of the source and factual evidence. You also prove and stand up for Rutter’s point very well. One thing I would consider for the future is to include the citation of the source on the blog.

    After reading the source you used, I think you did a solid job of summarization when it came to the main points. I would add in some small things to the argument about how Rutter says that environmental risk factors cannot be ruled out just to add other causes. You could also go more into depth about the other studies that were conducted.


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