CDC Estimates That One in 88 Children Has Some Form of Autism

One in 88 children born in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Autism is more common in boys than in girls, and the new study paints an even more alarming picture when it comes to the autism rate in young boys, with one in 54 boys showing signs of the disorder.

The new numbers indicate an upward trend in autism diagnosis, especially in minority communities, where autism may have been underrepresented in previous studies. On the whole, the updated figures represent a 23 percent increase from two years ago when the CDC estimated that one in 110 children had an autism spectrum disorder.

Not all types of autism are alike. Some people suffer from autistic disorder, otherwise known as "classic" autism, which usually results in significant developmental delays and problems communicating. Others have Asperger syndrome, a milder form of autism that may cause social problems and obsessive behaviors but does not typically involve intellectual impairments. Finally, a wide range of people may be diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, which the CDC defines as having "fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder."

To read an article in the Boston Globe explaining the study and autism in general, click here.

To read the CDC study itself, click here

Article Last Modified: 04/05/2012