According to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 59 US children has autism.
Based on 2014 data, the new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report. That rate was based on the 2012 data.
The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network is an active surveillance system that provides estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children aged 8 years whose parents or guardians reside within 11 ADDM sites in the United States (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin).
Some attribute the increased numbers to a rise in the actual population of those affected by autism. Still, others credit advances in testing, and yet others cite the increased availability of testing in schools. Our view is the truth is somewhere between the three possible reasons.
We remain concerned that the statistics are continuously based only on eight-year-old children, and do not consider the whole population. The calculations do not take into account that today’s school child is tomorrow’s adult. Adults on the spectrum are not counted, nor factored into these statistics.
The theory is that the ASD population at eight years of age is tallied to help provide funding for special needs education. What about the social support and services needs of adults? This is an equally important need, as the support network for adults is much less than for school-age children.
Read the entire report here.
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