An abstract of a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the study's "2010 [Autism Spectrum Disorder] prevalence estimate of 14.7 per 1,000 (95% CI = 14.3-15.1), or one in 68 children aged 8 years, was 29% higher than the preceding estimate of 11.3 per 1,000 (95% CI = 11.0-11.7), or one in 88 children aged 8 years in 2008." Of the sites surveyed, four counties in New Jersey had the highest prevalence estimate, with 21.9 per 1,000 (95% CI = 20.4-23.6). National Public Radio quotes CDC experts that "skyrocketing estimates don't necessarily mean that kids are more likely to have autism now than they were 10 years ago."
"It may be that we're getting better at identifying autism," says , director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.Researchers say intervention in early childhood may help the developing brain compensate by rewiring to work around the trouble spots.
Another abstract of a "small, explorative study" from The New England Journal of Medicine describes Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism and suggests "a probable dysregulation of layer formation and layer-specific neuronal differentiation at prenatal developmental stages." CBS News demystifies the study as "brain abnormalities may begin in utero." [Ed's note: Link intermittent]
Last month, we discussed findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders including Autism.
A friend's son was diagnosed with autism. Actually, he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum process.
Now, a few years later, he's near the top of his class and the teacher wants him to be tested for the gifted program for next year.
Overdiagnosis of autism is common because there is secondary gain. The child gets added help in class. The state government sends more $ to the county. The county hires counsellors to help the kid out.
No one benefits from saying the rate of autism is lower than before.
Autism is not a synonym for mental retardation; it is not a cognitive disability and has no direct bearing on intelligence. It primarily impacts the ability to communicate and socialize, ranging from anxiety attacks and sensory overload on the mild end, to complete inability to speak on the sever end.
If an autistic child is high-functioning enough to survive a classroom environment without having a meltdown, it's not uncommon for them to earn high marks, since schoolwork has very clear parameters and unambiguous expectations. The distinction becomes more clear in adulthood when life becomes less structured and the ability to navigate complex social landscapes and form extended networks becomes vastly more important than sheer academic performance to sustain and advance a career.