On Thursday, December 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new autism numbers suggesting that more American children are being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This means the prevalence of the developmental disorder is greater than previously believed.
Increased Prevalence of Autism in the US
The new report of CDC reveals that one in 44 8-year-olds in the US have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which is greater than their estimate of one in 54.
A press release from the nonprofit organization The Autism Community in Action (TACA) reported that autism was once a rare disability in 1970 in which only about one to two cases per 10,000 in the US are recorded. But it has since continued to rise, especially in 2000 when the eighth increase in autism prevalence was recorded.
Moreover, the 2021 estimate is 241% higher than baseline estimates established in 2000. The report also noted that boys were more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
Early Detection of Autism Helps
A second study cited by UPI showed that there is progress in the early identification of children with autism. According to the study, around 50% of the 4-year-old children researchers studied were more likely to be diagnosed with autism or given a special education classification compared to 8-year-olds.
CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities director Dr. Karen Remley said that the substantial progress of early identification of autism is good news because the sooner they are diagnosed, the earlier they can be given the proper services and support they need.
Remley noted that it is important for these children to have access to these services at younger ages to help them do better in school and have a better quality of life.