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Autism Coach

Autism Rate Now 1 in 68 Kids

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One in 68 children in the United States have now been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than the CDC's previous measure, released in 2012, which found that 1 in 88 children had autism, based on health and education records.

According the CDC report, among 8-year-olds living in one of 11 CDC surveillance areas across the country in 2010, roughly 14.7 in every 1,000 had autism, though there were some regional differences in rates -- many of them pronounced. In New Jersey, for example, 1 in 45 children had been identified with autism, compared to just 1 in 175 in Alabama.

Overall, the new report mirrors earlier estimates, finding that autism is roughly five times more common in boys than in girls. One in 42 boys were affected, compared to just 1 in 189 girls. White children were more likely to be identified with autism than black or Hispanic children.

The global prevalence of autism has increased twenty- to thirtyfold since the first population studies were conducted in Europe in the late 1960s and '70s, according to background information provided in the new report. At that time, research suggested that only 1 in 2,500 children in Europe were affected by autism.

The CDC began tracking autism rates in the U.S. in 2000 with the establishment of its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which relies on health and education records. Early estimates found that autism affected roughly 1 in every 150 children -- a number that has steadily increased with each subsequent report. (A separate 2013 CDC report estimated that 1 in every 50 children in the U.S. have an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, although that was based on parental reports, not official records.)

More our article on why there is an epidemic of autism, that has increased the incidence of autism from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970's to 1 in 68 today, please click here.