A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rate of childhood autism among children in the United States continues to rise, but there are some signs that things may slow down.
The new statistical findings come from the Autism and Developmental Disease monitoring network, reflecting data from more than 10,886 children. The results are available in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report.
In 2014, the last year for which comprehensive statistics are available, researchers found 1.7 percent of 8-year-olds (1 in 59) with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Compared to 1.5 percent (1 in 68) in 2012.
The increase could show an improvement in the identification of autism spectrum disorder, especially in previously under-diagnosed minority populations, among other factors. The prevalence estimates in the 1
"I think this shows that the prevalence of autism in the US continues to show signs of reassurance," says John N. Constantino, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis and one of the authors of the study.
"Unfortunately, it seems that many children are still not diagnosed early enough to get the most out of the therapy.
The older a child is diagnosed, the harder it is for healthcare professionals to intervene and change the course of autism spectrum disorder.
Children with autism often face social challenges to communication problems and self-help intellectual deficits, but some of these hurdles can be overcome by early, intensive therapy.
Approximately 39 percent of the children in the study diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder "Such a diagnosis was not obtained until more than 4 years" According to Constantino.
"It remains a priority to diagnose autism earlier and intervene sooner, especially in light of recent research suggesting a higher intensity and duration of early development. Therapy for children with autism is associated with significant improvements in outcomes ,
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"Despite our greater awareness, we are still not effective in early detection," adds co-author Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School "Our goal should be a systematic, universal screening that pediatricians and other healthcare providers offer on a regular 18-month visit to identify ASD as soon as possible."
A higher percentage of white children than African Americans and Hispanic children have been identified as having autism spectrum disorder, but this gap is narrowing, which may in part be due to increased efforts to diagnose children in minority communities.
Despite the diminishing gap, minority children with autism are disproportionately disproportionately intellectual Disabilities affected, the m it is related to the disorder. About 44 percent of African-American children with autism also have mental disabilities, compared with 22 percent of white children with the disorder.
"This underlines the need to address racial differences in access to diagnostic and therapeutic services," says Constantino.
Source: Washington University in St. Louis Rutgers University