Number of children with autism soars

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The number of children with autism spectrum disorder has sky rocketed approximately 30% in the past two years. This is according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Report data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network

In the surveillance summary report, researchers estimate that 1 in 68 children (14.7 per 1000) now has autism spectrum disorder (ASD)), compared with 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1000) in 2012. CDC analyzed data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. This is a Us surveillance system that estimates ASD prevalence among eight year old children who live within a radius of the 11 ADDM sites. The ADDM collects data from local sources that diagnose, educate, treat and/or provide services for children with developmental disabilities.

Intellectual abilities have increased

The data varies widely across states. For instance, 1 in 45 children is believed to be on the spectrum in New Jersey while 1 in 175 children in Alabama are thought to have the condition. It is five times more likely to affect boys than girls. It is also more likely to be found in black or Hispanic children. The majority are diagnosed at four years old, some at two years old. Interestingly, the level of intellectual ability among children with ASD has increased. Nearly half have average or above average intellectual ability compared to a third from ten years ago.

Early intervention very important

“Community leaders, health professionals, educators and childcare providers should use these data to ensure children with ASD are identified as early as possible and connected to the services they need,” stated Coleen Boyle, PhD, director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Source: Honor Whiteman/MedicalNewsToday
Photo by Zaqqy J. at flickr.com

 
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