A recent Autism report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the prevalence among the nation’s children, based on an analysis of 2014 medical records and, where available, educational records of 8-year-old children from 11 monitoring sites across the United States.
The new estimate represents a 15 percent increase in prevalence nationally: to 1 in 59 children, from 1 in 68 two years prior.
However, prevalence estimates varied widely between monitoring sites, with significantly higher numbers at sites where researchers had full access to school records. This suggests that the new national numbers reflect a persistent undercount of autism’s true prevalence among the nation’s children.
Key findings of this report include:
- Nationally, 1 in 59 children had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by age 8 in 2014, a 15 percent increase over 2012.
- But estimated rates varied, with a high of 1 in 34 in New Jersey (a 20 percent increase), where researchers had better access to education records. On the low side, autism’s estimated prevalence in Arkansas was just 1 in 77. “This suggests that the new national prevalence estimate of 1 in 59 still reflects a significant undercount of autism’s true prevalence among our children,” says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Thomas Frazier. “And without more and better research, we can’t know how much higher it really is.”
- The gender gap in autism has decreased. While boys were 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls (1 in 37 versus 1 in 151) in 2014, the difference was narrower than in 2012, when boys were 4.5 times more frequently diagnosed than girls. This appears to reflect improved identification of autism in girls – many of whom do not fit the stereotypical picture of autism seen in boys.
- White children were still more likely to be diagnosed with autism than were minority children. However, the ethnic gap had narrowed since 2012, particularly between black and white children. This appears to reflect increased awareness and screening in minority communities. However, the diagnosis of autism among Hispanic children still lagged significantly behind that of non-Hispanic children.
Organizations, such as Autism Speaks, calls on legislators, public health agencies and the National Institutes of Health to advance research that helps us better understand the increased prevalence and the complex medical needs that often accompany autism. In doing so, policy makers should follow the U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s recommendation to double the autism research budget.
The Chevalier Institute had remarkable results in the treatment of autistic patients. The cognitive abilities increased by up to 70% in the group of patients that where treated. While we encourage to further the research and get to the root of the ever increasing numbers we can help autistic patient to gain dramatic improvement.