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Sarah Yang

U.S. Autism Rates Have Increased

PUBLISHED ON 03/29/2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new study which estimates that 1 in 88 children in the U.S. are identified with having an austim spectrum disorder, up 23% in 8 year olds since the last report in 2009. The study looked at data from 14 communities — findings ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah. And according to the report, the largest increases in cases were among Hispanic and African American children.

CDC director, Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a press release, “One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are more children and families that need help. We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

Researchers found that more children are being diagnosed by three years old — an increase from 12 percent for children born in 1994 to 18 percent for children born in 2000. 40 percent of children in the current study weren’t diagnosed until four years old.

The CDC recommends that parents monitor their child’s behavior and act quickly whenever there is a concern about their baby’s development – by talking to your child’s pediatrician, calling a local early intervention program for assessment and keeping in mind that parents don’t need an official diagnosis to access help.

What do you think of these new statistics?