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CDC Reports No Change In US Autism Rate

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The number of autism cases remained unchanged between 2010 and 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

According to the 2010 CDC report, the prevalence of autism per 1,000 children is 14.7, while it was 14.6 in 2012. Both showed that one in 68 children in the United States has autism.

Some states, such as New Jersey and Wisconsin, however, the autism rates increased. The data may not cover the entire population, since autism may be underdiagnosed among black and Hispanic children.

"The number hasn't changed, but the impact is still great," said Dr. Catherine Rice, director of the Emory Autism Center at CDC. "While this is a hint there may be a slowing of growth and identification of people with autism, it certainly doesn't yet confirm that we are seeing this leveling out," she added.

The data, acquired through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, is used by the CDC to actively assess the estimates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among kids aged 8 years old and whose parents live in 11 ADDM Network sites. These sites include Wisconsin, Utah, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Missouri, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona and Arkansas.

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

ASD is a developmental disability that can cause social, behavioral and communication problems among children.

The condition causes children to have difficulties in communication and social involvement with peers and other people.

Autism patients may communicate, behave and interact differently. In terms of problem-solving, cognitive and learning abilities of people with ASD, they may range from severely challenged to gifted.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of ASD?

People with ASD may have problems with communication. For some, they may not point at objects to show interest unlike other children. They have trouble relating to others and some may not show interest in other people at all.

Children with ASD may avoid eye contact and they prefer to be alone. They do not like to be cuddled, talked to or play with other kids.

Photo: Fabrizio Sciami | Flickr

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