New Jersey has the highest rate of autism of any state in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control — but advocates say that’s in part because we screen for it more.
“One in 41 8-year-olds have autism here in New Jersey,” said Suzanne Buchanan, executive director or Autism New Jersey. Autism affects a person’s ability to socialize with other people, and it gives people a restricted range of behaviors, interests and activities.
Buchanan said there are a number of reasons why New Jersey’s autism rates are so high.
“They can pretty easily be explained by the way the research is done and the reports that the researchers had access to,” she said. “Here in New Jersey we have access to both educational and health records, so if you expand the pool of kids that you’re screening, you’re going to find more kids.”