Benida Bonville's son Anders was diagnosed with autism almost 18 years ago. Bonville remembers having brought him to the pediatrician when she began to notice signs, so he stopped talking and leaving. Bonville said doctors originally thought he lost his hearing, but Bonville thought it was autism because the symptoms were the same.
Your son was finally diagnosed with autism. Anders is now 20 and has nonverbal autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the prevalence of autism in US children is estimated at 1 in 59. This is a 15% increase over a few years ago when it was 1 in 68. These new numbers were collected back in 2014 based on eight-year-old children in 11 states.
When Bonville learned of the surge, she felt emotions that were surprised, frightened, and sad.
"It was just the wake-up call that we continue to do more, do better to look for these causes, look for those reasons," Bonville said. "Let's start again in first place."
The study also found that the diagnostic gap between white children and black children has shrunk from 20% to 10%. The study also found that the diagnostic difference between white children and Hispanic children has shrunk from 50% to 20%.