19 Jul


A reliable estimate of ASD prevalence in adults, however, is lacking.

The prevalence study conducted every two years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in children up to 8 years of age showed a mild increase in the ASD rate. It was 1 in 68 (1.5%) in 2012, and 1 in 59 (1.7%) in 2014.

Some of the increase is attributed to improved identification in minority (non-white) and female children.

* The gender gap in autism has decreased. In 2012 data, the boys:girls ratio was 4.5:1; it was slightly down to 4:1 in 2014.

* White children in the US were still more likely to be diagnosed with autism than were minority children. However, the ethnic gap had narrowed since 2012, particularly between black and white children.

The increased prevalence in minority children and girls reflects improved diagnosis in those communities.

The age of diagnosis, a mean of 4 years, did not decrease, indicating an area of needed improvement since ASD symptoms are often detectable even during the younger years. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the likelihood that the child will receive interventions that deliver life-long benefits.

Reliable prevalence data comprise immensely valuable data in efforts to manage and improve the lives of persons with autism spectrum disorder.

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