I discussed this with Jenna Lee on Fox New’s Happening Now. The CDC released new rates for autism. Reports now show, that 1 in 88 kids can be identified as having some disorder on the autism spectrum. That is up from 1 in 110 with the biggest jump in Hispanic and African American children. And they reported also seeing increase in diagnosis at younger ages such at the age of 3, which is good because many studies find earlier identification and intervention can definitely benefit the child to help them learn new skills.
Why are we seeing more kids identified? We are not entirely sure but we are probably seeing a combination of broadening of the definition of the spectrum of autism, as well as seeing an increases in screening previously underserved populations. In the past it was believed that having college education white middle class parents puts you at risk for autism. But in fact these were the groups that were having their children screened. Now this report highlights how the incidence is the same in all populations and that screening in all sectors of our population is important. It also underscores need for these services for everyone.
But we still have a way to go to identify the cause. It will most probably not be one single cause for autism but multi-factorial causes. Even though we now know it is not related to vaccinations.
The important take home message for parents is if you are concerned about your child’s behavior and development don’t wait… talk with a medical professional and have your child evaluated.