CDC: 1 in 88 U.S. Kids Has Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The study, which examined 2008 data from 14 different communities across the country, also found that autism is almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.  The largest increases in diagnoses from the last report–published in 2009–were among Hispanic and African American children.

“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are many children and families who need help,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in a statement. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

Early diagnosis is on the increase, and key to the ultimate success of interventions and treatments, the report finds.  More effort should go into early diagnosis, said Coleen Boyle, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the children in this study aren’t getting a diagnosis until after age 4. We are working hard to change that.”

If parents are concerned that their child may have an ASD, the CDC recommends three steps to take:

  • Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.
  • Call your local early intervention program or school system for an assessment.
  • Remember you do not need a diagnosis to access services for your child.

Image: Parent and child holding hands, via Shutterstock.

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  1. by Suzy

    On March 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I know the CDC does do research but I seriously wander if this is just the new issue, for a few years it was ADD, another year it was push Ritalin on children to keep them calm. How dare a child just have a tantrum. I am not saying all kids with autism diagnosis is just benefiting from the disorder and the programs tax payers pay for but some of them I seriously wander about. Curious to see what the new DSM will say.

  2. by Gloricela

    On March 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Suzy, my guess would be that you do not have a child with Autism. The reason the numbers are so large is because there is a wide sectrum of the disability. There are some that are totally dependant & are so overwhelmed or delayed in their developement that the will never become independant nor have a chance to lead a “normal” life. Then there are those that are high functioning, very smart, happy, polite & for the most part appear normal but talk gargin(a made up language) instead of English, have sensitivity to loud noises (like flushing toilets), bang their heads when fustrated becayse they have

  3. [...] news was shocking: One in 88 kids has autism, a significant rise since The Center For Disease Control and Prevention started tracking those [...]

  4. by Tickles

    On April 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    No, the rate of Autism has not risen–the definition has been broadened to include folks with IQ’s under 70. Previously, Kanner described autism as the spectrum of communication issues PLUS an average IQ. The reason he did that was Low IQ folks, (as well as babies)exhibit most of the same communication and behavioral issues as those with ASD. The repetitive motions are the same as any infant or low functioning <70 IQ person would. As a professional who works in the field for over 40 years, our resources are being diluted and the benefits accrued from intensive rehab are lost on most low IQ individuals. Furthermore, many children of Adult people on the spectrum often exhibit the same consetellation of symptoms through imitation, rather than having the actual issue.

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