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New Study: Two-Thirds of Autism-Afflicted Kids Aren't Diagnosed — And It's Their Parents' Fault!

Mon, May 9, 2011 11:05am EDT by 3 Comments

New research suggests one-in-38 children has some form of autism. That’s three times as many as previously claimed!

The comprehensive study claims two-thirds of autism sufferers aren’t being diagnosed, often because parents ware unwilling to accept their kids have the condition.

The study was carried out in South Korea by a team from Yale University, led by Dr. Young-Shin Kim, who admits he’s startled by the results: “Are we surprised? Yes!”

55,000 children between the ages of seven and 12 were tested by the team, who studied their behavior for tell-tale signs of the condition.

Autism sufferers typically struggle with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. Those deemed at-risk were then evaluated to confirm the diagnosis.

The result  — a positive diagnosis in 2.84 percent of children, far higher than the 1 percent previously estimated.

Autism experts in Korea are less surprised by the results, claiming many kids slip through the net because of a stigma attached to autism, and because the severity of autism varies greatly between sufferers.

One Korean clinic worker tells the Daily Mail, “A lot of parents in Korea do not recognize autism symptoms. We are not sure if the figure is correct, but if it is, then numbers of autistic children may be underdiagnosed.

“One problem that seems to pop up frequently is that parents do not want to acknowledge that their child/children may be autistic.”

The figures are currently limited to South Korea, but Dr Kim expects the same rules to apply in Europe and the US — where it was previously believed just 0ne-in-110 children had autism.

And Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, an an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control concedes autistic children in the US are slipping through the net.

She says, “We know that we are not capturing all of the cases.”

Autism diagnosis has long been a controversial subject. Jenny McCarthy (pictured) made waves when she claimed her son Evan’s autism was caused by vaccinations he was given as an infant.

Her claims and support of British doctor Andrew Wakefield’s controversial research on the topic influenced many parents to refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated against childhood diseases.

McCarthy later claimed Evan was cured of autism by special diet and regular vitamin shots — and now believes he was misdiagnosed and actually suffered  rare neurological disorder called Landau-Kleffner syndrome.

Do you have a child with autism HollyMoms? Share your experiences and thoughts with us below!

— Ian Garland

Get more on Autism Awareness:

  1. Claire Danes’ Uplifting Message To Parents: ‘Autism Exists On A Spectrum — It’s Important We Know How To Work With It!’
  2. Did You Know Having Babies Close In Age May Raise Risk Of Autism In Second Child? We’re Shocked!
  3. Can You Believe That A Stray Cat Helped An Autistic Boy Bond With His Mother?