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One in 44 children diagnosed with Autism, finds CDC report

The rise in numbers might be due to more awareness of the condition

Autism
Autism | Shutterstock

December 3, 2021 11:09pm

Updated: December 4, 2021 2:34am

More children in the United States are being diagnosed with autism, according to a report released on Thursday. The CDC reported that 50 percent more children are likely to be diagnosed with autism in 2018, compared to 2014.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1 in 44 eight-year-olds were diagnosed with autism, according to an analysis of 2018 data. The number of children diagnosed with the condition increased from 1 in 54 in 2016.

Experts believe autism numbers in children are increasing in part because there is more awareness of the condition and more ways to identify it and treat it.

“There is some progress being made and the earlier kids get identified, the earlier they can access services that they might need to improve their developmental outcome,” said CDC researcher and co-author Kelly Shaw.

The CDC reports used data from 11 states. These numbers don’t reflect the entire U.S. population, said the author. Autism rates can vary from state to state, gender, ethnicity, and income, found the report.

In California, 1 in 26 children were found with autism. However, 1 in 60 children had the condition in Missouri. Sites with limited access to special education had fewer children diagnosed with the condition. In California, for example, there are efforts to promote the early identification of autism in children. In Utah, rates were higher for children from lower-income families.