- Posted by Caravel Autism Health
- On December 13, 2018
- 0 Comments
A new national study finds that 1 in 40 children in the U.S. has autism. This new estimate comes from analysis of survey data covering 43,000 children ages 3-17. According to the latest research, approximately 1.5 million children nationwide have received a diagnosis of autism, as reported by their parents. The prevalence of autism is markedly higher among boys, who are 3.5 times more likely to have received a diagnosis than girls.
This new benchmark is a significant jump from the national estimate by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that 1 in every 59 children has autism. The latest study, “The Prevalence of Parent-Reported Autism Spectrum Disorder Among U.S. Children,” was published in late November in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Researchers used data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, the largest child health survey in the U.S.
Michael Kogan, Ph.D., director of the Office of Epidemiology and Research in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, led the study. Dr. Kogan notes that the prevalence of autism has been increasing both globally and in the U.S. for the last 30 to 40 years. He attributes the increase to multiple factors including the broadening of diagnostic criteria, greater parental awareness, and certain risk factors such as children being born to older parents.
Dr. Kogan’s team of researchers also examined how well the health care system is meeting the needs of families with autism. They found the system lacking on several fronts. One key finding is that children with autism are more likely to have difficulties accessing health care than children with other emotional or behavioral disorders such as attention-deficit disorder, anxiety or Down syndrome.
“Autism can be diagnosed accurately in children as young as 18 months,” explains Eric Lund, PsyD, ABPP, BCBA-D. “And the earlier a child can be diagnosed, the sooner autism health specialists can begin working with that child to provide life-changing treatment. Providing parents and children with access to health professionals who have expertise in autism is critical to ensuring that kids get the treatment they need.” Children who start Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy at the age of 2 or 3 are positioned to make the greatest gains possible. This early intensive therapy helps retrain neuropathways in the young brain, optimizing brain development and helping children with autism connect with others and improve communication skills.
For more information about ABA therapy, please visit https://caravelautism.com/what-is-aba-therapy/.