Friday, January 12, 2018

Autism Rates in U.S. Children Has Stabilized

The rates of autism in United States children seem to be stabilizing a new report has found.
A study conducted in the United States from 2014 to 2016, has shown that rates of autism in children in the United States have leveled out. The study uncovered some interesting results because for the last two decades autism rates in children in the U.S. have been steadily increasing. The research paper published in JAMA looked at a group of over 30,000 children aged between three and seventeen.

The study surveyed parents and asked if they had ever had a doctor diagnose any children with autism, pervasive development disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or Asperger’s disorder. They then adjusted data based on the people’s age, gender, and ethnicity. The statistics uncovered that in 2014 the percentage of children with autism was 2.24%, 2015 was 2.41%, and 2016 was 2.58%. The small percentage increases weren’t significantly large enough to be considered an increase compared to previous decades.

There were several different findings when they looked at the individual sub-groups inside the survey. Boys were more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder than girls, 3.54% compared to 1.22%. There was also a difference in percentages across different ethnic groups, 1.78% in Hispanic children surveyed, 2.36% in black children, and 2.71% in white children.

The study did find that their findings were higher than recent estimates. The Autism and Development Disabilities Monitoring Network, or ADDM, estimated that there had only been a 1,46% increase compared to the studies 2.4% rise. These results could be because of the way the study was designed and undertaken. The study focused on asking parents if there had been a diagnosis, while the ADDM estimate was based on speaking to education and health professionals.

They didn’t focus on the causes of autism in this study. However, more public awareness and better diagnosing could be attributed to the increase in reported cases of autism over the last decade.

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