CDC Says that 1 in 68 children in the USA have autism

Christina Drill
March 28, 2014

According to CNN, 1 in 68 American children have been diagnosed with autism-- a 30% increase from last year.

This information, submitted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is based on an evaluation of all 8-year-old children (5,300 children altogether) living New Jersey, Utah, Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Maryland, and North Carolina.

Out of these eleven states, New Jersey had the highest degree of autism (1 in 45) and Alabama had the lowest (1 in 175).

The director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities spoke of the survey and said: "We look at all of the characteristics of autism, so we look at the age in which they're identified. We look at their earliest diagnosis. We look at co-occuring conditions that these children might have, other developmental disabilities, whether or not they have intellectual disability, so essentially their IQ."

As it always has been, the children diagnosed with autism in 2014 were overwhelmingly male-- almost 5 times as many boys are diagnosed with autism than girls.

According to the CDC the largest increase was seen in children who have average to above-average IQs. CDC reports that one half of kids with an autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intellectual ability (that means an IQ over 85), a 20% increase from last year.

What causes autism is still unknown, nor is it a curable disease. There are obviously many services that allow children on the Autism spectrum to better communicate and integrate with those around them, but many are costly. Medicaid will cover a lot of those costs for families, but the rising percentages of diagnoses mean services will need to be thinly spread.

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