One in 68 children in the U.S. are identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); this estimate is 30 percent higher than the prevalence reported in 2012. CDC says that since the previous estimate of 1 in 88 children identified with ASD, the criteria used to diagnose, treat, and provide services have not changed.
Overall, the surveillance summary report, â€śPrevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children Aged 8 Yearsâ€”Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010,â€ť estimates that there are 1.2 million children under the age of 21 with autism. The study based its numbers off of data solely from eight-year-olds (the â€śpeak age of identification,â€ť according to the CDC) in communities from 11 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin.
While the estimates may seem like a startling rise in just two years, Alison Singer, the co-founder and president of the Autism Science Foundation, says she â€śwouldnâ€™t describe this data as shocking.â€ť
The latest report confirmed many of the previous findings, including the fact that ASD is almost five times as common in boys than as girls: 1 in 142 boys versus 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed. Also, white children are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than black and Hispanic children. Experts credit that disparity to a difference in access to healthcare resources and well-trained experts, which they also believe explains why ASD prevalence ranges from 1 in 45 in New jersey to 1 in 175 in Alabama.