Health Watch: Autism Rates Underestimated In US

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new government report suggests the number of children with autism in the U.S. is underestimated.

The new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 1 in 50 school age children has autism. That figure is much higher than a recent government estimate of 1 in 88 kids.

Health experts say the new estimate doesn’t necessarily mean autism is rising. It suggests that doctors are diagnosing the disorder more often, especially in older children with milder cases.

“While this study is showing us that prevalence is increasing in part because we’re getting better at identifying cases, the cases are still being identified too late,” said Michael Rosanoff, the associate director of Autism Speaks.

Experts say if you have any concerns about your child’s development talk to your pediatrician because early intervention is key.

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