In the second reported increase in just a few years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that a new parental reporting study has come up with 1 in 50 kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Between 2007 and 2012, 96,000 phone interviews were conducted with parents of 6 to 17 year old children across the U.S. Parents were asked if their child had been medically diagnosed with ASD, and whether the parent felt it was mild, moderate, or severe.
The new report cites the possibility that increased awareness means that more children with milder forms of autism are now diagnosed with ASD. More children are being diagnosed at earlier ages—a growing number of them by age 3. Still, most children are not diagnosed until after they reach age 4, even though early identification and intervention can help a child access services and learn new skills. The CDC's Learn the Signs. Act Early program is designed to help parents and others distinguish between typical and autistic developmental signs. Through this program, the CDC provides free tools to help parents track their child's development and free resources for doctors and educators.
Through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, a figure of 1 in 88 kids with autism was found in 2008 by studying 14 areas. These 14 communities comprised over eight percent of the United States population of 8-year-olds in 2008. Information was collected on children who were 8 years old because previous work has shown that, by this age, most children with ASDs have been identified for services.
Now the 1 in 88 statistic has been raised to 1 in 50, an increase of 72% in just five years.