Autism cases soar once again in the U.S.
It doesn’t surprise me that the number of autism and autism-related cases in this country continues to rise. The report out today just makes it official. 1 in 68 U.S. children have an autism-spectrum-related disorder, up from the previously thought 1 in 100. In ways, the rising rates are predictable, thanks to simple math. More kids (and adults) are aware of autism and autism-spectrum issues, more doctors are knowledgeable about autism, so more cases are bound to be diagnosed. Couple that with the links that researchers see between older mothers and an increase in the number of children born who have autism or are on the spectrum — and voila! Boys are more than four times as likely to be affected as girls. Just think: Autism rates jumped about 30% between 2008 and 2010, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those are just the latest figures we have. Who knows what the number would be if we could take a snapshot this very minute. Why is this happening? The million-dollar question is whether something in the environment plays a role, says Robert Ring of Autism Speaks.
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