One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000. Autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disability, is characterized by problems with communication and social interaction with accompanying repetitive behavior patterns. The CDC launched the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in 2000 to collect data that would provide estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. The agency … developed a methodology for estimating autism prevalence using information from children’s health and education records. The new estimated rate of autism in the United States is based on data collected from 11 communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. About 8% of all 8-year old children living in the US [live in these communities]. Overall, fewer than half of the children identified with autism had received their first diagnosis by the time they were 4 years old, the new CDC report finds. Also, the definition of autism has changed through the decades. In the past, more than half of children identified with autism also had intellectual disability, and now it’s about a third.
Note: The above article carefully avoids mentioning the link between autism and environmental toxins such as mercury additives in vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.