On March 27, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report that revealed 1 in every 68 American children have autism. This is a 30% increase in cases from 2012. What could be causing such a huge jump in autism rates? HollywoodLife.com spoke to a practicing child psychologist who weighed in on the new report.
The CDC is reporting that autism is up 30% — claiming that 1 in every 68 children has a form of autism. Child psychologist Dr. Susan Abbott, M.D. talked to HollywoodLife.com about the shocking rate increase, and weighed in on why it might be rising so quickly.
CDC Reports: Autism Diagnoses Up 30%
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report on Thursday, March 27, stating that 1 in every 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
This is a shockingly large jump from the 2012 report that claimed 1 in every 88 children had autism. More than 5,300 different children are represented in the new batch of data. Interestingly enough, the rate is much higher in boys than girls. According to the report, 1 in every 42 boys are diagnosed with ASD.
Unfortunately, the report also shows that children are still being diagnosed very late. Even though autism can be diagnosed by the age of 2 years old, most cases are not diagnosed until a child is over 4 years old. This is concerning, because the earlier a child is diagnosed, the earlier a child can begin treatment for the neurological disorder.
Expert Says: Education Is Behind The Rise In Autism Diagnosis
After the CDC released their new report, HollywoodLife.com immediately reached out to clinical professor and child psychologist, Dr. Susan Abbott, M.D. We were most interested to hear why the rates had jumped so much in just two years, and Dr. Abbott provided us with an answer that isn’t as scary as you might think.
Dr. Abbott told HollywoodLife.com that the more doctors, teachers, and parents are educated about autism, the more likely they are to have it properly diagnosed.
“More than some toxic factor in the environment, more than that, it’s better identification,” Dr. Abbott explained to us. “I read an article this morning that there is higher identification in Japan of autistic spectrum disorders, but they think it’s because of excellent training.”
We also inquired about why children aren’t being diagnosed at a younger age, to which Dr. Abbott offered her expert insight.
“There are some differences in kids as young as one, but it is difficult, the younger the child is, the less differentiated their personality is,” Dr. Abbott explained. “The older you get, the more specific you get in terms of your behavior and what you display.”
Tell us, HollyMoms — What do you think about the new autism report from the CDC? Do you agree with Dr. Abbott? Let us know your thoughts below!
— Lauren Cox