Autism’s rise tracks with drop in other childhood disorders

Nicholette Zeliadt:

The latest estimate of autism prevalence in the U.S., released last week, suggests the condition is even more common than previously thought. But the apparent rise in autism coincides with a decline in other developmental disorders, highlighting the complexity folded into this seemingly simple statistic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 45 children have autism, up from 1 in 80 in 20131. The new figure is based on the annual door-to-door National Health Interview Survey, which asks parents whether a doctor has ever told them their child has autism, intellectual disability or another type of developmental delay.