By Shaun Dolan
A recently released statistic from the Federal Government finds that 1 in 100 American children have one form of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Figures from 2007 indicated that 1 in 150 American children suffered from an ASD. These findings were conducted in two ways: a telephone survey by the Health Resources and Services Administration and an extensive study conducted by the CDC. The CDC later held a press conference after releasing findings in an attempt to explain the meaning of these results and also discuss the possibility of additional funding devoted to learning more about autism.
They explained that these findings do not necessarily mean that autism is becoming a more common disease, but in fact, there are other reasons why the rates are growing. First of all, there are higher levels awareness on behalf of parents, educators, and pediatricians. Since there has been more attention paid to this condition, there have been more reported cases at much earlier ages for most children. Additionally, more forms of autism are being included in these findings. Years ago, only the most severe forms of the condition were reported, however, there are lesser forms of autism being included in the total number of cases across the country.
Advocacy groups for autism had an immediate retort for the Federal Government based upon these findings. They feel that additional federal funding needs to be devoted to autism research since numbers of autism cases are on the rise across the nation. In response to these claims, officials made it clear that funding for autism research has been rising in recent years and autism is the disorder that specifically receives federal funding annually.
It is clear that autism cases are on the rise across the nation. Additionally, more attention needs to be paid to this concern. Skeptics claim that many of the reported cases of autism were misdiagnosed or instances where parents made the mistake of assuming their children had this condition, as opposed to the fact they simply had a slower development than their peers. Regardless of those claims, more attention needs to be this condition on both a federal and individual level.