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One in 50 children in the US has autism

21st March 2013

New data has revealed the potential extent of autism among children across America.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that one out of every 50 children of school age has autism.

The figures have emerged following a survey among parents, which revealed that the number of American children with autism spectrum disorder has increased significantly since 2007,when one in 88 children aged 6-17 were acknowledged as being autistic.

The CDC has said it was surprised by the findings and is now concerned that there are more children in America with autism spectrum disorder than previously thought.

Stephen Blumberg, a senior scientist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, pointed out that a typical school bus carries about 50 pupils, meaning each school bus could have one child with autism aboard.

A key factor in the rise in the prevalence of autism seems to be improved diagnoses, particularly in older children, with the survey also showing that boys had a four-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with autism compared to girls.

“For the most part, the increase in the prevalence is largely due to an increase in the prevalence in reported autism spectrum disorder for boys,” Blumberg added.

The data that was collected and analysed from the National Survey of Children's Health, which is a national phone survey involving almost 96,000 American households.

 

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