Thursday, March 21, 2013

CDC: 1 in 50 U.S. Schoolchildren Have Autism

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 9:14 AM

A new survey of parents conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren have autism. About 1 million children — that’s 2 percent of U.S. schoolchildren — have been diagnosed with some sort of autism, the researchers discovered.

“Our findings suggest that the increase in prevalence may be due to increased recognition of autism spectrum disorders in recent years, especially when the symptoms were mild,” said Stephen Blumberg of the National Center for Health Statistics, which published the report.

The number is larger than previous government estimates of the prevalence of autism, a spectrum of conditions that can range from mild social awkwardness to symptoms that prevent learning and may necessitate medication. Last year, a government estimate based on medical and school records found that 1 in 88 U.S. children have autism.

“We don’t want (parents) to be frightened by the numbers,” said the CDC's Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp. “We want them to recognize that there are things they can do that make a difference in their child’s life.”

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