Autism diagnoses soaring among children

Autism diagnoses soaring among children

Some surprising news from federal health officials this week. According to new reports, the number of children in the United States diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has spiked dramatically since 2007.

The data shows that as of 2012, one in 50 kids between the ages of 6 and 17 have some form of autism. A stark comparison to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) five years ago, which showed one in 88.

In a statement, a senior scientist with the CDC put the statistic into a revealing perspective—saying the data amounts to typically one child with autism spectrum disorder on every full school bus in America.

Scientists say the main reason for the increase appears to be better diagnoses, especially in older children, particularly boys.

As part of the study, researchers gathered data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, which is a national telephone survey of nearly 96,000 American households. As part of the survey, parents were asked whether they have a child diagnosed with autism.

According to the report, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, which has been the trend historically.

These newer cases surveyed since 2008, also appear to be children diagnosed with milder forms of autism, which also points to the fact that doctors and other health care providers are better at recognizing the milder form of the condition.

Overall, this could be great news for kids, experts say, because children with a mild form of autism, that may have been missed, can now get the help they need.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.