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.
There are other contexts where the stimulants work. Possibly even in cases where the child's ability to focus is insufficient (that is, the intended use).
In many other cases, the actual educational outcome is unlikely to improve, but the school's perception of it might. In others, of course, a different educational environment would probably work even better and without side effects.
But yeah, it is hard to get an appropriate school environment if none is offered.