Study finds autism rates have tripled among young children: what do you know

Researchers at Rutgers University studied more than 4,000 eight-year-olds in New York and New Jersey.

They said the sharp rise in autism rates is largely due to greater awareness, better diagnostic tools, and a broader definition of autism. The researchers also noted that the largest increases in diagnoses were among affluent children, and concluded that children in disadvantaged communities do not get the same access to medical resources.

Nationally, about 1 in 44 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The disorder begins before a child reaches the age of three and can last throughout their life, although symptoms may improve and vary, notes the CDC.

“You want to talk to your child’s pediatrician about this because early intervention makes a big difference,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, adding, “Remember, these kids [with autism spectrum disorder] They grow into teens and adults, so the more we can help them, the better their outcome. “

What do you know about autism

People with autism have a variety of traits that affect communication, behaviour, and socialization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

‘Spectrum’ means that there is a wide range of symptoms and severity.

A child of any race, socioeconomic status, or ethnic group can develop autism. However, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls based on a study of children as young as 8 years old. Children who have an autistic sibling, especially a twin, are at a higher risk of developing autism. Those with developmental disabilities or genetic and chromosomal diseases such as Down syndrome are also more likely to develop autism. There is also evidence that children born to older parents have an increased risk of autism. according to several studies.

Autism can be recognized as early as infancy, although most children are diagnosed after the age of two. There is no medical test to diagnose autism, so doctors monitor a child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis, according to the CDC.

the The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends All children are formally screened for autism at their pediatric health visits at 18 and 24 months of age. The AAP says pediatricians will begin observing children at their first child health visit by observing their behaviors.

“It is these observations—combined with family history, health screenings, and parental perspectives—that help pediatric primary care providers identify children at risk for autism,” the AAP says on its website.

The CDC notes that in some cases people are not diagnosed with autism until they are teens or adults.

Experts say though that early detection of ASD is key, as is early intervention.

Early signs of autism in children may include, but are not limited to, little or no smiling, limited eye contact by 6 months; little babbling, pointing, or responding to their name by 12 months; and few or no meaningful two-word phrases by 24 months, according to the CDC.

Additional signs of autism may include delayed social interactions, showing repetitive behaviors or showing limited interest in activities and sensory issues such as sensitivity to noise or sound.

“Someone may have a delay in communication but may not have a delay in motor skills,” he said. Dr.. Gene Clark, A New York-based clinical psychologist who specializes in autism, he told ABC News last year. “They may be exposed to sounds and lights in a completely different way than I was and sometimes they may experience sensory overload and they may wear headphones and this will help make the noise not as intense, but also they may avoid certain situations as it is very stressful.”

Therapy comes in various forms, from mental health treatment to occupational, physical, and speech therapies. Medications can sometimes be helpful for things related to autism, such as mood problems or an inability to focus.

ABC News’ Yi-Jin Yu and Dr. David Oczos, DO, a member of the ABC News Medical Unit, contributed to this report.

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