The numbers don't sound crazy to me. I went to schools in 3 different states growing up and there were always a couple type 1 kids at each school. Obviously the bigger schools had more of them.
Doubt cows milk has much of a connection. After all, almost every child drinks cow's milk.
Where is your town located? I've seen a couple research studies about the predominance of type 1 in northern climates, so it's supposed to be more common in Canada, UK, Norway, etc. Some doctors think that lack of Vitamin D (from sunlight) can increase chances of developing diabetes.
WHile studies are still inconclusive there are many many studies showing a relationship between early and frequent cow's milk consumption and type 1 diabetes.
This one was released just last Wednesday. Finnish researcher have been showing the relationship for years.
Cow's milk is for cows apparently and not humans.
You have to take every research study with a grain of salt until it's repeatedly proven with large test groups. The milk study sounds like a loose connection at best. The article itself says:
"However, the pilot study was not large enough to tell if avoiding cow's milk reduced the actual risk of diabetes. Eight percent of the cow's milk recipients developed type 1 diabetes, compared to 6 percent who got the special formula, a difference that was not statistically significant.
"We did not expect a 100 percent prevention of clinical disease," Knip said in an e-mail.
All of the babies in the test -- and those in the larger study now underway -- have a genetic susceptibility to diabetes and had at least one family member with type 1 diabetes. They were followed until their 10th birthday."
So this study not only didn't show a statistically significant difference, but it also used a test group of people genetically prone to type 1.
Unfortunately, most researchers don't follow the scientific method much anymore. Instead they tend to publish prematurely,and then are slow to disprove their own false findings because the grant and federal funding disappears when they do so. When research is disproven it's also not widely reported.
With the numbers Terry has in his neighborhood, it might be important to know where he lives geographically, and what ethnicity his neighbors are. For whatever reason folks of Finish and Nordic descent are more likely to develop type 1. The kids in his neighborhood may also have other risk factors that we don't know about. It's hard to guess, but again I really doubt milk has anything to do with it.