New estimates show that one in 88 American children has been identified as having autism spectrum disorder, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week.
The estimates, based on 2008 data from 14 communities, range from one in 210 Alabama children with the disorder to one in 47 children in Utah. And autism spectrum disorders are about five times more common in boys than girls: One in 54 boys was identified as having ASD. Previous CDC estimates found that about one in 80 boys and one in 240 girls had a form of autism. Other studies have found that autism is more common than the new CDC estimates indicate.
Study results from the 2008 surveillance year show 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-olds have ASD. That is a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009, the CDC said. Some of the increase is because of the way children are identified, diagnosed, and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to those factors is unknown.
The study also found that more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12 percent for those born in 1994 and 18 percent for children born in 2000.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2012 edition of Education Week as In U.S., 1 in 88 Children Identified as Autistic