Is there an Autism Epidemic?

ASD or the Autism Spectrum Disorder is spectral disorder that affects the brain development. Characterized by the difficulties in social communication, verbal and non-verbal interaction and repetitive behavior, ASD is a not a curative disease. As per the findings of CDC, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) one out of every 88 children in US have autism.
Previously the data stood at 1 in every 110 children, but the leap of 25 percent has shocked many people. With more than one million children and adolescents now affected with autism, people fear that it’s an epidemic. Though some attribute to the increase in numbers to better screening of the disease, the outcry remains the same. The studies also reported that children with older siblings belonging to the autism spectrum also have the tendency of having the disorder.
Dr. Thomas Friedman, CDC Director, said that the data confirms one thing i.e. there are many children and families who need help. The centre would continue to track autism spectrum disorder and accordingly make improvements in the services provided.
Caring for an autistic child can often be stressful, and if the child fails to understand or interact, the situation can worsen. This is the reason that the responsibility of the child should be given to a specialist. The family should stop expecting perfection as then they would certainly be disappointed.
Some of the other findings in the CDC report are as follows:

  • Autism is five times more common in boys (one in every 54) than in girls. (one in every 252)
  • The Hispanic and black children saw the largest increase. The reason acquitted was the increased awareness.
  • With people being aware, more children are being diagnosed with it in the earlier ages. CDC “Learn the Signs Act Early” program is beneficial for the parents in identifying the child’s development progression.
  • The report also found an increase among children without intellectual disability. There was also an increase in the estimated occurrence of autism at all levels of intellectual ability.

The CDC organization called a national strategy which would include some of the following:

  • More funds for research in the genetic underpinnings and finding the cause of autism.
  • Funds for effective medicines and treatments.
  • All the children with autism should be diagnosed by the age of 18 months.
  • The adult autism issue would be addressed. Education, employment and housing etc to be provided.
  • National Training Corps recruiting more specialists and service providers like teachers and assistants.
  • The training corps would associate assistants to work with the adults.

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