Study Puts Rate of Autism at 1 in 150 U.S. Children
About one child in 150 develops autism or a related disorder like Asperger’s syndrome by the age of 8, according to a study released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, which looked at cases of so-called autism spectrum disorders in 14 states in 2000 and 2002, is the most rigorous analysis to date of the disorders’ prevalence in the United States. It confirms recent estimates, which put the number at roughly one in 160 children — higher than the one-in-200 estimate made in the 1980s.
The analysis also found that delays in diagnosis were common: an average of at least a year and a half from the time parents first reported odd speech problems or other social deficits, typically around the age of 3.
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