This morning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its updated estimates for prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The CDC now estimates 1 in 68 children has been identified with ASD. This new figure is approximately 30% higher than the estimate reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children. The data show that ASD is almost five times more common among boys than girls: 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. The report also indicates most children are diagnosed after age 4, despite the fact that ASD can be diagnosed much earlier.
“Today’s news from the CDC underscores the critical need to intensify public policy and advocacy efforts to advance basic and applied research, access to evidence-based education and treatment programs, awareness & early identification initiatives, and services to help young people successfully transition to adulthood,” said Dr. Barbara Firestone, President & CEO of The Help Group. “Let us continue to work together to ensure that individuals with autism have every opportunity to fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.”