Washington - A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children in multiple U.S. communities suffer from autism spectrum disorder, up 30 percent from previous estimates in 2012 when 1 in 88 youngsters was found to have the disorder.
The estimates ranged from 1 in 45 children in New Jersey to 1 in 175 in Alabama.
The report, “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children Aged 8 Years – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010,” was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The report found that ASD continues to be nearly five times more prevalent in boys than girs – 1 in 42 boys compared to just one in 189 girls. And rates among white youngsters remain higher than those of black and Hispanic children.
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Most children with ASD are diagnosed after age 4, but the disorder can be diagnosed at age 2.
“The most important thing for parents to do is to act early when there is a concern about a child’s development,” said Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, M.D., chief of CDC’s Developmental Disabilities Branch. “If you have a concern about how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves, take action. Don’t wait.”