More than 97,000 California public school students have been diagnosed as autistic, a number that has risen seven-fold since 2001, according to the latest special education data from the California Department of Education.The figure represent a jump of about 6,500, or 7 percent, from 2014-15 to 2015-16.
The increase was especially sharp among kindergartners, where autism cases grew by 17 percent last year. More than one of every 65 kindergartners in California public schools is classified as autistic.
More on the Autism Increase
Following the introduction of the controversial SB277 bill, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, autism rates have risen a staggering 17%.
The state of California passed its controversial mandatory vaccination law (SB 277), which removed personal and religious reasons from the list of being exempt from vaccinations, with the goal of increasing vaccination rates.
In 2016 the rates of autism in California public schools jumped 7% in general, but rose especially high for kindergarten kids – by 17%. As the Sacramento Bee reported, the number of kids diagnosed as autistic has risen seven-fold since 2001.