New CDC study significantly increases prevalence of Autism
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new phone survey of 95,000 parents indicating that 1 in 50 school aged children have autism spectral disorder. The previous standard, also based on a government study, was 1 in 88.
Barbara Boyett, CEO of Avondale House in Houston, specializing in autism services and resources, is among the skeptics. “This is the first study to give us this number,” Boyett told KTRH, “and I think what it leads us to is further investigation and research so that we can try to validate or corroborate the number.” Dr. Robin Goin-Cochel, a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, suggested taking the number with a grain of salt until further research is completed.
But for Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks Associate Director of Public Health Research and Scientific Review, it is a call to arms. “We need the federal government to provide an appropriate amount of funding to support research to help us better understand the causes of autism and how we can better treat it.”
The individual in charge of the study, Stephen Blumberg, a senior scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the CDC, felt the survey spoke at a personal level. “Parents are often struggling to meet the needs of their children and often feel so alone in their struggle. One of the things this survey clearly demonstrates is that there are many more children with autism and those parents are not alone.”