World Bulletin / News Desk
A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that autism among children is significantly more common than previously believed, government researchers said Friday.
One in 45 American children ages 3 to 17 – more than 2.2 percent – have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a complex and often challenging brain condition. The survey, conducted in 2014, shows a large increase from previous surveys from 2011 to 2013, which found autism rates at roughly 1.25 percent.
“Researchers assessed children with ASD, children with other developmental delays, such as language delays and physical delays, and children from the general population,” the CDC said in a statement. “Children with ASD had more problems with early learning, challenging behaviors, and interacting with others than children classified as having other developmental delays.”
The CDC does not believe ASD has become more prevalent, but notes that its survey methods have become more accurate. The researchers reordered and revamped questions after finding that some participants had trouble understanding the survey and caused some parents to not report their child as autistic.
Based on studies conducted in Europe, North America and Asia, the CDC estimated in 2014 that 1 percent of the global population has autism.
The survey tweaks come after sweeping diagnostic changes related to autism in 2013. Previously, most psychologists considered Asperger’s syndrome as a related but separate disorder. Two years ago, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the defining text of psychology, combined autism and Asperger’s with ASD, as well as including the diagnosis "pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified" into the disorder’s classification.
These definitional shake-ups caused the CDC to rethink its national survey. But even though the general public is more aware of autism, the government believes many parents do not completely understand the potential signs of ASD.
“Children with autism spectrum disorder are not being diagnosed as early as they could be,” the CDC claims.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Kasım 2015, 09:34