For their part, the CDC did not respond to an interview request, but defended its current approach in a statement to Disability Scoop.
“CDC is committed to scientific integrity and a high standard of quality for the autism data that we report. There are different methods to estimate the number of children with autism, each with its strengths and limitations. CDC stands behind the (Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring) Network’s autism tracking method for providing the most complete picture of autism in communities across the United States,” the statement said.
Furthermore, a CDC spokeswoman pointed to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that the agency said backs its current surveillance methods, finding that the autism rate reported is likely a conservative estimate.