US estimates 1 in 45 children has autism

The United States government now estimates that 1 out of every 45 children has an autism spectrum disorder.



The new report is based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in interviews with parents about their children.



Dr. Andrew Adesman, the chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, says those numbers might be a bit inflated.



"There's another survey that's done, another sort of monitoring survey from a prevalence standpoint, that looks more rigorously at the medical records," Adesman says. "And in that data, the prevalence is almost half."



The doctor goes on to say that experts are not aware of reasons why rates of autism should get any higher.



None of the interview surveys and monitoring in the latest report look at why the rate of autism seems to be increasing. Dr. Adesman says that it is likely due in part to heightened awareness, better and more frequent screening and additional research.


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