CDC survey shows autism may be on the rise - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

CDC survey shows autism may be on the rise

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The centers for Disease Control and Prevention Survey released new numbers, Wednesday, showing autism may be more prevalent than ever thought.

After conducting a telephone survey of nearly 100,000 parents, The CDC is now suggesting the number of children with autism may be growing.

The survey suggests 1 out of 50 children are diagnosed with autism, going from 1 out of 88.

Katrina Beckhom of Beckhom Behavioral Consulting says the increase in numbers may stem from doctors being better able to diagnose the disorder.

"I think doctors are starting to recognize all of the signs of autism. With there being some of the milder cases now because the definition has expanded, doctors are now recognizing that those who do not have some of the more severe symptoms, still may be on the spectrum," said Beckhom.

Beckhom went on to say teachers and parents are now better recognizing the signs of autism in older school-age children.

She believes this survey may not be as accurate as other studies done by the CDC, but it brings more awareness to this growing problem, which could make for a positive situation.

"In order for funding to occur there has to be an epidemic. These numbers allow us to get some of that public health funding, so we definitely always want some attention paid to the number of kids that are affected," said Beckhom.

Funding which could lead to finding a cause to the behavioral disorder.

"There still is a belief that it's a combination of environmental factor and genetics but there is no definite reason that we've been able to come up with as to why autism occurs," said Beckhom.

If the new estimate by the CDC is correct, it would mean at least 1 million children have autism.

 

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