Research by National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) found that reported cases of autism in Taiwan have been climbing over the years, with the percentage leaning toward the male population and urban areas over females and rural areas, suggesting that the public is becoming more open-minded about medical conditions.
Jointly conducted by the university’s department of environmental and occupational health led by professor Guo How-ran (郭浩然), Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chiayi Christian Hospital department of rehabilitation doctor Lai Te-tsung (賴德聰), Chang Jung Christian University department of business administration assistant professor Tseng Yen-cheng (曾妍娟) and others, the research was based on government registrations of children from three to 17 years of age diagnosed with mental illnesses from 2004 to 2009.
The research included follow-ups on those diagnosed with developmental problems, learning issues and autism, while cross-referencing the prevalence and percentages of such conditions in Taiwan for different age groups, genders and regions.
The research discovered an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, climbing from 2,995 in 2004 to 7,479 in 2009, with a growing prevalence across all age groups. The research also found that males had a higher percentage of being autistic, roughly five to six times that of females.
The registration rate in urban areas was twice that of rural areas, the research found, though that might be due to the higher alertness of medical staff and parents, and the greater numbers of people living in these areas.
The medical resources at the disposal of urban hospitals may also be a factor in the higher percentages, the research wrote, citing the higher number of doctors practicing child psychiatry.
The research named Taipei as an example, which contributed more reports of autism than any other city in the nation.
Guo said the majority of autism patients, a form of brain disease, carry the condition congenitally.
The increased rates of individuals being reported with autism shows the gradual progression of Taiwanese society toward being more open-minded about medical conditions, Guo said.
The more society learns about autism, the more accepting it is of people with the condition, Guo added.
Such progression owes a great debt to Taiwan’s Welfare Regulations for the Handicapped and Disabled (殘障福利法) and the system of registration, Guo said, adding that these added to the level of care given to disadvantaged people.
However, Guo said the numbers of recorded autistism cases in the US and the EU are 10 times higher than in Taiwan, showing that though Taiwan has moved a step in the right direction, it still has a long way to go.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan