Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Autism is much more common than previously thought

Autism is much more common than previously thought

It goes deeper than just one national number though, as states keep their own prevalence numbers.

"The latest findings from the ADDM Network provide evidence that the prevalence of ASD is higher than previously reported estimates and continues to vary among certain racial/ethnic groups and communities", writes the team.

Frazier noted that in New Jersey, where the authors estimate the prevalence of children with autism to be 1 in 34, investigators had better access to education records used in the study.

The network estimates are combined from 11 communities within Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

She says Oklahoma has a shortage of professionals who can give an early diagnosis.

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"We don't have any reason to think there is a biological basis for difference in autism prevalence based on race and ethnicity", said Daisy Christensen, who leads autism surveillance at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

This report is the best estimate of autism prevalence, Gunter said. Therefore, people whose symptoms once wouldn't have been picked up are now being diagnosed with ASD. In other words, our efforts at spreading the awareness are working.

Identifying autism is important, because children who are identified early as having autism and connected to services are more likely to reach their fullest potential, according to the MMWR report. Many doctors may be reluctant to jump to an autism diagnosis in a younger child, because they are "trying to be cautious and not alarmist", Hazlett said. "Adults on the spectrum need employment and housing supports".

"Lubbock has been fantastic, I have never been anywhere in my career that is more welcoming of people with autism or other disabilities", Dotson said. However, the rates have increased only modestly, suggesting there may be a leveling off.

The data comes from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. In 2012 and 2010, the prevalence was one in 68.

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The CDC points out that these numbers are not nationally representative, but simply reflect a detailed look at autism in these specific communities.

Walter Zahorodny is an associate professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Rates have been rising since the 1960s, but researchers do not know how much of this rise is due to an increase in actual cases. "But you are absolutely increasing the likelihood that they will contract a disease from which they could potentially die". Children with autism often face social challenges, communication problems and intellectual deficits, but research suggests some of those hurdles may be overcome with early, intensive therapy.

They found that using the DSM-5 criteria yields 4 percent fewer cases of autism than with the DSM-IV criteria-a difference they say is negligible. There are still undefined environmental risks which contribute to this significant increase. "We're still learning more about that", said Adley.

"We want to see children imitating other children, recognizing the emotions of others and being responsive to those changes in emotions".

Diagnosing autism can be hard since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. Immerse yourself in knowledge about Autism now.

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