Autism Prevalence Continues to Increase

Post by  SpeakProse  Content Team on October 1, 2018

Post by SpeakProse Content Team on October 1, 2018

As the years’ progress, more and more research is being completed on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) due to its increase in prevalence in clinical studies.  Since the turn of the 21st century, studies have tried to link ASD to everything from gluten intolerance to vaccinations.  Since those studies were released, their claims have either been debunked or retracted, but the research carries on trying to find a link to the underlying cause of ASD and why many more children are being diagnosed with ASD in recent years.  This article will explore a recent report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) back in April 2018 and what new findings were presented in the report.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Identification

The presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities that also accompany the decrease in social communication prowess that can persist throughout life is what defines Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Most specialists agree that it is possible to identify and diagnose a child with ASD as early as two (2) years of age. If you can catch the diagnosis far enough in the future via tracking specific milestones, you can report any concerns to a health care provider for a comprehensive development evaluation referral.  This evaluation can identify any delays or impairments that you child is connected to related to ASD and provide you with the appropriate solutions.

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Study Findings

The study by the CDC found that roughly 1 in 59 children in the United States (U.S.) have autism which is an increase of 16% from the 2014 CDC report that specified 1 in 68 children had autism and nearly 50% increase since the 2006 CDC report on Autism (1 in 110).  The 2018 report documented a group of 8-year-old children from multiple U.S. communities that cover various socio-economic backgrounds.  The study found that prevalence estimates varied between monitoring sites, with significantly higher numbers at sites where researchers had full access to school records.

Four (4) times as many boys as girls were found to be autistic in this study which is a slight decrease from 2012 figures when boys were 4.5 times more frequently diagnosed than girls.  The narrowing of the gap between the number of autistic boys and girls showcases that improved identification techniques in clinical settings have improved in recent years. As changes have been made to diagnostic testing and awareness for autism has increased, it has allowed for the number of autism diagnoses to increase as well.

Due to the relative small scale of this study and the fact that the research was only done in specific regions for a limited age group, it doesn’t give an accurate and credible picture of the state of autism in the U.S. amongst adults.  Although the prevalence of early age Autism diagnosis is a good statistic to baseline, it still leaves a large gap in our awareness of adults diagnosed with Autism. As more people become aware of autisms increasing prevalence in the U.S., hopefully there will be future studies from the CDC that showcase the trends of autistic individuals in areas that pertain to their future adult development.

Helpful Resources

If your child - or adult child - is non-communicative or reluctant to speak about what’s on their mind, you are welcome to download Speakprose for free onto an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and introduce it to them as a way to start to open up and share what’s on their mind. Registered users also receive helpful tips via email to increase their success and joyful experience.