Rate of kids with autism in Maryland jumps to one in 50

Close-up shot of child looking out the window

Autism is more common for US children than previously thought, according to a report out Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However the number has increased as an estimate in 2016 showed that 1 in 68 children were said to have the disorder. In future reports the DSM-5 case definition "will serve as the basis" for the CDC's estimates of autism spectrum disorder prevalence from the ADDM Network.

The newly released data was collected by the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, a tracking system that provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of ASD among more than 300,000 eight-year-old children.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds that 1 in 59 US children on average are on the autistic spectrum.

Child autism rates continue to rise in the USA but researchers can't tell whether the number of cases has increased or the recognition and diagnosis process has been improved.

A full copy of the report, "Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014" is available on the CDC website here.

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He says autism is found in nearly every community in New Jersey - urban, suburban and rural.

That part of the analysis showed a decrease in the prevalence of autism diagnoses between black and white children and Hispanic and white children.

The necessary services include not only educational but adult transition services, he said: "We need to do more work to get kids identified earlier, we should be identifying kids closer to age 2".

"It's a significant increase", Dr. Thomas Frazier, the chief science officer at Autism Speaks, told CBS News. The 1 in 59 was an average: It was as high as 1 in 34 in New Jersey, and as low as about 1 in 75 in five states.

"We want to see children imitating other children, recognizing the emotions of others and being responsive to those changes in emotions".

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But autism experts said better detection is not exclusively responsible for the continued increase in autism rates.

About 85 percent of those with autism had concerns about the need for developmental evaluation by 3, but only 42 percent received a developmental evaluation by then.

New statistics indicate rates of autism in children have continued to increase.

"Parents can track their child's development and act early if there is a concern", Shapira said. "For example, people who used to be only diagnosed with mental retardation or an intellectual disability are now also getting an autism diagnosis", he said. The medical community also has improved the way it documents the disease and is better at identifying autism-related behaviors.

Those are a few of the many signs detailed in the latest CDC report. Act Early program, which offers "free resources for parents to monitor their child's developmental milestones".

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Fletcher says early diagnosis was key to helping her family get therapy for the boys, giving them assistance to do everyday things like go out to a restaurant.



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