What's Behind the Recent Rise in Autism in the US?

Live Science | 4/26/2018 | Staff
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The percentage of kids with autism in the United States continues to rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report found that, in 2014, an estimated 1 in 59 children had autism, up from 1 in 68 children in 2012, and 1 in 88 children in 2008. The findings are based on data from more than 300,000 8-year-old children living in 11 diverse communities across the United States.

CDC - Report - Autism - Rate - Prevalence

A previous CDC report, released in 2016, suggested that the autism rate, or prevalence, was leveling off, but the new report shows that this is not the case.

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"It is now clear that what we saw in 2016 was just a pause along the way. It remains to be seen at what point [autism spectrum disorder] rates will plateau," Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a co-author of the report, said in a statement.

Autism - Spectrum - Disorder - Condition - Communication

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication, behavior and the ability to interact with others.

So what's behind the increase? Perhaps, rather than more kids having autism, just more of them are being diagnosed with it. Communities are doing a better job of diagnosing autism among minority populations, said Alison Singer, president and co-founder of the Autism Science Foundation, who was not involved in the new report.

Step - Report - Room - Improvement - Autism

This is a positive step, but the new report also revealed room for improvement in autism diagnoses, Singer said. For example,...
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