Autism May Affect as Many as 1 in 40 U.S. Kids

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Results of a nationwide survey of parents suggest autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect about 2.5 percent of children — 1.5 million kids and teens — in the United States. A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier in 2018, which used data from 2014, had estimated autism prevalence at about 1.7 percent, or 1 in 59 kids.

According to Thomas Frazier, chief science officer of the advocacy organization Autism Speaks in a statement to CNN, surveys like this use more liberal and inclusive methods than those used by the CDC to track autism prevalence. The research is based on the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, which involved parents of more than 50,000 children under 17. The autism rate estimate included reports from parents that their child received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and currently has autism.

There are some limits to this study. For example, parental reporting is not considered valid for health and education records. But having more information about autism prevalence is key to improving screening and diagnosis, treatment and interventions, and support services.

Sourced from: Pediatrics