One percent of 8 year olds with autism
According to a report released by the CDC today, 1 in every 110 children in the US have some type of autism disorder. This equals 1 percent of all 8 year olds, 9 out of every 1000 in the US are somewhere on the spectrum of autism disorders. Autism is a spectrum of developmental disorders which are characterized by abnormal development in socialization, communication, and behavior.
Most symptoms of ASD are present before the age of 3. However, according to the report, most children are diagnosed around age 5. The CDC is working with caregiver and professional groups on a campaign called “Learn the Signs, Act Early.” Early recognition of the ASDs are very important to giving the child a better chance of improving. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine screening for autism at early ages during the 18 and 24 month well-child visits.
The CDC stated that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is probably underestimated by 5-22 percent. It was estimated that 40,000 new cases of autism were diagnosed in 2009 alone. A behavioral health scientist with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Catherine Rice, referred to the increase as “an urgent public health concern.”
Boys are at a 4-5 percent increased risk over girls of developing an autism spectrum disorder. However, the study also shows that girls with autism are at a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment as compared to boys with the disorder. As for development delays, most of those with autism have defining characteristics before the age of 3, with language delay being the earliest characteristic noted.
The CDC states that autism has a complex genetic and environmental cause, or causes, which is unknown at this time. Some of the studies currently underway include what happens during a pregnancy that may contribute, what occurs during the first few years of life, and multiple other possible reasons that autism is on the rise.
If you are concerned that your child may have autism, see your physician right away. Do not be afraid to voice your concerns. Be sure that an evaluation is done. Some may say that each child develops at their own rate, but this can only result in delayed services for your child. Some things to be on alert for include: no babbling by 12 months, no pointing, showing, or reaching by 12 months, and no words by 16 months.