The rate of Autism among American children has increased significantly, from 1 in 88, to a staggering 1 in 68 births. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this news about the astounding 30% rise, which happened within just two short years.
This recent estimate is based on the CDC’s medical and educational records of all 8-year-old children living in 11 U.S. states. Although the average rate of Autism among these states is 1 in 68, the rate varies significantly based on location. Only 1 in 175 children in Alabama has an Autism disorder, while 1 in 45 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in New Jersey. This data defends the studies that state environmental factors and differences in air pollution play a huge role in Autism rates. Despite the difference in number among states, one factor that remains universal throughout the U.S. is that males are much more likely to be Autistic. According to the report, 1 in 42 males has an ASD.
Colleen Boyle, director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, stated that they focused on 8-year-old children, because it is a prevalent age where characteristics of Autism are identified. They looked into several factors, such as the child’s IQ, and if they had an intellectual disability, or any other developmental challenges. A huge jump in Autism was seen in children with an above-average IQ. The study states that nearly half of children with an ASD have above-average intellectual capacities.
Although the report does not state why more children are being diagnosed with Autism, increased awareness and more careful diagnoses are being made. One thing that still needs improvement is evaluating and diagnosing children at an earlier age. The average age of diagnosis remains above 4 years old, although strong signs of Autistic behavior can be seen at the age of 2. “The earlier a child is diagnosed with Autism, the better their chances are of overcoming the difficulties that come with the disorder”, states Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Founder and CEO of ICare4Autism.
The ICare4Autism International Conference will be presenting recent medical news, research studies, and scientific advances, on July 1st in NYC. Speakers include Dr. Celine Saulnier, Clinical Director for Research at the Marcus Autism Center, who manages and supervises diagnostic evaluations on individuals with ASD. To hear Dr. Saulnier speak, please select tickets here.