CDC Finds Prevalence Rate for Autism Higher Than Previously Reported


About 1 in 59 USA children were identified as having autism in 2014, according to a Thursday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focused on 8-year-old children.

A University of Minnesota study found 8-year-old children in Hennepin and Ramsey counties had been diagnosed with autism at a rate of 2.4 percent in 2014.

The new CDC report is based on a tracking system in 11 states that focuses on 8-year-olds, because most cases are diagnosed by that age.

The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000.

ASD refers to a range of similar developmental disorders characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.

The latest data from the CDC showed an uptick in the number of 8-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder across their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. "We have a pretty decent complement of developmental specialists in the region".

The CDC graph above shows the percentage of children with autism who are considered intellectually disabled based on their IQ, broken down by race. "And these are diverse communities so that we can look at autism prevalence and characteristics in a number of different groups defined by race/ethnicity or by socioeconomic status".

In addition, the CDC report revealed that, even though 85 percent of children identified with ASD had notes in their health records expressing concern about their development, only 42 percent of them received a developmental evaluation by the age of three.

The data comes from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

Also, the definition of autism has changed through the decades.

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"It's just that we were either missing it and not aware of it, or not diagnosing it, or for many cases diagnosing it as intellectual disability", he said. For example, some children can be diagnosed with autism as early as 4-years-old and last throughout an individual's existence.

"This ongoing experience helps me identify with families who have been told or observed that their child's development is not occurring as expected". The gap between white and Hispanic kids shrank from 50 percent to 20 percent. The disorder is reportedly becoming more prevalent amongst minority children. They also were not getting the necessary services to develop to their fullest potential. This is nearly certainly not because something is affecting kids in New Jersey, said Zaharodny.

Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, said the new government report is "really important because it's a significant increase".

Boys were four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

He noted that the male to female ratio decreased in the new report. In Maryland, the rate was one in 31 boys and one in 139 girls.

"Certainly, we're seeing a closing of disparities".

After several years of stabilizing, the rate of autism has risen again to affect about one in 59 children. "We've also got to push on services, because look at the numbers".

"We still need to do a much better job at early identification", Frazier said.

'Autism prevalence among black and Hispanic children is approaching that of white children, ' Dr Shapira said.