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CDC: US Autism Estimate Grows to 1 in 68 Children


by MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The government increased its autism estimate on Thursday to 1 in 68 U.S children.

That’s a 30 percent jump from the last federal estimate of 1 in 88 children with autism or a related disorder. The latest calculation means autism is more than twice as common as officials said it was just seven years go.

But health officials say the new number may not mean autism is occurring more often. Much of the increase is believed to be from a cultural and medical shift, with doctors diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems.

There are no blood or biologic tests for autism, so diagnosis is not an exact science. It’s identified by making judgments about a child’s behavior.

This latest estimate by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means autism affects roughly 1.2 million U.S. children and teens.

The CDC report released Thursday is considered the most comprehensive on the frequency of autism. Researchers gathered data in 2010 from areas in 11 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

The report focused on 8-year-olds because most autism is diagnosed by that age. The researchers checked health and school records to see which children met the criteria for autism, even if they hadn’t been formally diagnosed. Then, the researchers calculated how common autism was in each place and overall.

The CDC started using this method in 2007 when it came up with an estimate of 1 in 150 children. Two years later, it went to 1 in 110.

For decades, autism meant kids with severe language, intellectual and social impairments and unusual, repetitious behaviors. But the definition has gradually expanded and now includes milder, related conditions.


Online: CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html

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    something big pharma and their paid scientists/fda puppets will never admit – vaccines do cause autism

    • Cindy

      I so agree

      • Babu Rijapathejalan

        That’s because you’re both ldiots.

        • Cindy

          I’m not an idiot. I’m a mother with an autistic son. And if you had a heart any kind, you’d want a life for your child without this disability. – even at the expense of getting the chicken pox or flu. I don’t want my kids to get the measles or polio but I don’t wish autism on anyone else either- including you!

  • Cindy

    Sounds like an epidemic…maybe if we didn’t vacinnate over every hiccup we would see a decline in the rate of diagnosis!

    • Karen

      Are you aware that the “hiccups” that we are vaccinating our kids against are diseases that caused death and disability in our ancestors. Get the facts straight. Not vaccinating your children puts the rest of us at risk for a recurrence of these horrible diseases.

  • LisaLookAdams

    I love Jason. He worked with my daughter at Gill Elementary School many years ago.( I have 2 children on the autism spectrum.) That said, he is wrong about one thing. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that links vaccines and autism. The question about the safety of the combined CDC recommended vaccine schedule has not been answered.