Although rumors about autism rates being adjust to 1 in 100 children floated around the net a few months ago, the U.S. CDC recently published their latest figures. According to the CDC, 1 in 110 children in the United States are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The three most common conditions categorized in the DSM-IV as an autism spectrum condition are autistic disorder, PDD-NOS, and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Prior to this month’s update, the CDC official data stated that 1 in 150 children in the United States were on the autism spectrum. This data was published in 2002 and between that time and 2006, the rate of autism diagnoses rose by 57%.
Autism has always been more prevalent in boys than girls. The newest study reveals that 1 in 70 boys and 1 in 315 girls are on the autism spectrum. This represents a 60% increase in boys and a 48% increase in girls diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Although these new figures show an increase, they still don’t answer one of the biggest questions plaguing the autism community – what causes autism? The answer is, “no one really knows.”
Sure doctors may be handing out diagnoses more frequently, but that can’t possibly account for this drastic increase. Thimerosal-containing vaccines aren’t also likely the culprit for all of the new cases as thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines years ago. Environmental triggers – probably a big part of it. However, there is no one answer.