One in 88 U.S. children have been diagnosed with some sort of autism spectrum disorder, from mild types of Asperger's syndrome to severe disability, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.
CDC said that this is a 23 percent increase in the numbers since the last report in 2009, and at least some of the rise is because more children are being screened and assessed. And more children are being diagnosed by age 3, the report finds.
“This information paints a picture of the magnitude of the condition across our country and helps us understand how communities identify children with autism,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “That is why HHS and our entire administration has been working hard to improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorders and their families by improving research, support, and services.”
CDC reports data from 2008, which show 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. "This marks a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009. Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed, and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown," CDC said in the statement.