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CDC Registers Rise in Autism Rate

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a significant uptick in autism diagnoses in several areas of the country that were part of a study published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Whether that means that the incidence of autism itself is on the rise or more children are being diagnosed might be up for debate, and according to the CBS report cited below, the CDC warned that the results of the region-specific study “should not be generalized to the United States as a whole.” However, also confusing is how CBS proceeded to open its story about the study by doing just that. So how to make sense of it all? Discuss. –KA

CBS News Healthwatch:

One out of 88 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the latest estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously the CDC estimated autism’s prevalence at about an average of 1 in 110 U.S. children. The new estimate suggests autism is more common than previously thought – about 25 percent more common – and may affect more than one million children and teens in the U.S.

“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are many children and families who need help,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a written statement. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”

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