CDC: Kids With Autism up 78% in the Past Decade
About one in 88 children in the United States has autism, according to a new report released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data shows a 23% increase from 2006, and a 78% increase compared to a decade ago.
For boys, the numbers are even higher - with roughly one in 54 falling somewhere on the spectrum of autism related disorders.
"This is a national emergency and it's time for a national strategy," Mark Roithmayr, president of the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks told Reuters.
"One thing the data tells us with certainty - there are many children and families who need help," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. "We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children."
What's the reason for the alarming increase?
"Better diagnosis, broader diagnosis, better awareness, and roughly 50% of 'We don't know,'" said Roithmayr.
The good news is that for parents of children with autism, there are resources available to help. From national conferences to tools like an "earnings chart" that can be used in the home, parents can learn how to become advocates for their children and help them navigate through life.
Here are a few helpful articles from Kimberly Kaplan - author of the eBook, A Parents' Guide to Early Autism Intervention - on her experiences as the mother of a child with autism: