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According to new data, one in 110 American 8-year-olds is classified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 57 percent increase in ASD cases compared to four years earlier.
The study, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (a dire sounding name for what is basically the agency's weekly statistical newletter), does not list a reason for the increase, but several of the possible theories, none of which are new:
- Autism is more broadly defined, allowing more children to fall into that category;
- A heightened awareness of ASD by parents, doctors, educators and other professionals.
Bottom line, everyone is still unsure whether more children are being born with autism, or more doctors are diagnosing them that way.
Still, it's concerning news.
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