Researchers Question Validity of CDC ASD Statistic

Statistics are a tool often used in a variety of fields to realistically convey information to the public about the common nature and possibility of a certain event or abnormality. A widely-spread statistic revealed the current amount of autism diagnosis in children, but some are questioning its validity.


In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one of every 45 children have autism, which was increased 80% from the statistic that claimed one out of every 68 child, aged 3 to 17, was on the spectrum. Autism researchers are now taking a look into the truth behind the increase, and how it may not be as it seems.
Health experts are raising claims about the undermining of the statistics and the misinterpretation they may perceive. They believe the statistic does not necessarily mean that autism is increasing, but could mean that doctors are diagnosing autism more often, particularly in adolescents with mild cases of ASD.


Others believe that the structure of the survey given to parents is the reason for such a drastic increase. In 2013, the survey asked about a variety of disorders and developmental delay, while the 2014 survey focused predominantly on ASD, with other disorder being addressed after.


Benjamin Zablotsky, apart of the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, believes that the higher statistic could stem from how parents perceive the children’s behavior.


“There may have been alterations in the method in which parents attach labels to their kids that contribute to alterations in the way researchers surveyed them.” Zablotsky said. “I think within this report we found that the way that we ask the parents about autism spectrum disorder can have an impact on the way the parents respond to the question.”


For more information, check out the source for this blog post, Albany Daily Star.

By Nichole Caropolo

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