Education

Boost in Autism Numbers Strains Services

By Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily — July 05, 2007 1 min read

The Boston Globe reports on the sharp increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism in Massachusetts and the impact its having on programs that serve them. “Many people who haven’t had the experience assume the hardest part is hearing your child has autism,” Ann Guay of Bedford told the Globe. Her 12-year-old son, Brian, has the disorder. “But I think the greater challenge is trying to obtain the services you know your child desperately needs.”

Autism is more common than it was once believed, according to data released earlier this year by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC found that an average of 6.6 children out of 1,000 had an autism spectrum disorder in 14 communities the center studied in 2002. “For decades, the best estimate for the prevalence of autism was four to five per 10,000 children,” CDC officials said.

Last year, the CDC launched what it called the largest-ever federally funded study into the causes of autism. Education Week reported that the $7.8 million study would be conducted over five years in six states.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Around the Web blog.