CDC says autism is on the rise—and why it may be worse than we think

eating habits children with autism spectrum disorder
Image: Raising Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new report on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) … offers little good news. It estimates that about one in every 59 children nationwide has the complex developmental disorder, a figure that seems unchanged from its previous estimate a year ago. But, for a few reasons, it’s likely that this is an underestimate.

“We’ve been monitoring for approximately 20 years, and it’s clear that this increase is not all better monitoring,” [researcher Walter Zahorodny] said, referencing research showing around that 80 percent of the increase can be tied to outside factors like the environment. And while the new report came up with the same one in 59 figure as the CDC’s earlier estimate did, it’s likely that as these children get older, more will end up being diagnosed with autism.

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“We don’t really have any idea of why this increase has occurred, and what the risk factors and triggers for this increase are. And as importantly, we have not made any real progress in improving early detection,” Zahorodny said. “So please, let’s do everything possible to enhance the early screening of autism.”

Read full, original post: New CDC Report Shows Autism Is Still on the Rise

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