Autism Numbers on the Rise

This is going to spark a lot of fire but according to new research by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ) shows that 1 in 68 children have been identified on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The new report studied 8-year-olds living in 1 of 11 CDC surveillance areas across the country in 2010. The results showed that about 14.7 in every 1,000 had autism. There were some regional differences in rates such as New Jersey which showed 1 in 45 children identified with ASD versus 1 in 175 children in Alabama identified with ASD. This new number is 30% higher than 2 years ago, in 2012, when the statistics were at 1 in 88 children.

The new report holds true of previous reports that boys are still 5 times more likely to have autism than girls. To be exact, the new report shows that 1 in 42 boys were affected, compared to just 1 in 189 girls.

The cause of the rise has not been identified (NO it is not due to vaccines) but there are many speculations and differences. The CDC only started tracking autism in 2000 so prior to that there are no real numbers. Increased awareness and access have changed the numbers. Changes in diagnosis, now that autism includes a range of the disorder, from mild (Aspergers) to severe. In addition, the rise in age of parents at conception and environmental factors may be playing a part in these rising numbers.

With more advanced testing, ASD can be identified as young as 2 years old. It is important that parents who recognize a little developmental delay or differnece in their child by as early as 1 should talk to their doctor. The sooner your child is identified with ASD, the higher the chance for  more optimal outcome.