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CDC Set To Release New Autism Numbers


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to unveil a new autism prevalence estimate as early as this month.

The agency currently says that 1 in 110 children have autism, a figure first released in late 2009. Now, less than three years later, the CDC is set for an update.

Autism rates have soared over the last three decades, making the numbers closely watched. As recently as the 1970s, the developmental disorder was believed to affect just 1 in 2,000 children. Since that time, estimates have risen 18 fold.

The reason for the steep rise is not entirely clear, with some attributing the growth to increased diagnosis and others believing the change is due to a higher occurrence of autism.

Researchers at the CDC are now putting the finishing touches on a new report that’s anticipated to update the current numbers. A firm publication date for the new finding is unclear, but officials at the agency say it could be as soon as later this month when the new estimates are published in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ahead of the report’s release, multiple autism experts contacted by Disability Scoop declined to comment on the forthcoming figures.

However, a study published last year suggests there still may be room for autism rates to rise. That report — based on evaluations of every child age 7 to 12 in one South Korean community — found autism occurring in one out of every 38 kids.

Traditionally, estimates in the United States rely on existing medical or educational records as opposed to direct assessments.

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Comments (7 Responses)

  1. Paul Shapiro says:

    Not to worry, the numb skulled psychiatrists are proposing to
    to redefine Autism Diagnosis Criteria and I’m sure the number of
    children defined as autistic will drop radically. I have a feeling these
    bimbos are on someone’s payroll.
    Let’s see if they can get us back to 1 in 10,000.

  2. Helen Robinson says:

    “Traditionally, estimates in the United States rely on existing medical or educational records as opposed to direct assessments.”

    Seriously, how accurate can this be? As an advocate & activist, most of the parents I know first have to struggle to even get school districts to identify their children. School districts typically LIMIT that evaluation to speech & language ONLY (in order to qualify for services under the IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – a student only has to meet the “Educational Definition” of Autism & NOT have, or be given, a medical diagnosis of Autism, or any one of the diagnoses that fall on the spectrum.

    Here’s MY prediction: Since the DSM V will drastically change the “game” (how / who gets a diagnosis of Autism) – we can expect the rate of Autism to DECLINE.

  3. yankeegirl says:

    If the US autism numbers are close to the S. Korean number of 1 in 38, that will not surprise me. It’s bad and everyone knows it’s bad. Changing the DSM V critera IMO is a pre-emptive strike b/c they know the numbers are increasing and the “better diagosing” explanation is losing steam. I agree with Paul Shapiro that the docs at the AAP are on someone’s payroll and pushing an agenda which is why they keep clouding the issue. The skyrocketing numbers imply that environmental factors are playing a significant role in this increase.

  4. Fran says:

    Yes, and what boggles the mind is where is the collective outcry? Where is the demand for an explanation? A whole generation of children are somehow being harmed by SOMETHING…..what the heck is doing this to our kids? I also feel so sorry for the poor parents whose lives are drastically changed in such a bad way having to deal with these autistic children. Heartbreaking, but what is causing this???? Just mention the possibility of vaccines will get you demonized and discredited. Ok then, if it’s not the increase in vaccines given to children starting on day one of life, and also their pregnant and postpartum mom’s “boosters”……. then what is it?

  5. marcy says:

    To Mr. Shapiro, and any others who claim to know what is happening with the increase (or decrease) in Autism, please refrain from doing so, unless you work directly with this population. I have bee a speech-language pathologist for 19 years. I feel badly for the ignorant folks who claim to know- for I have observed FIRST HAND not just an increase, but an outright explosion in the PREVALENCE of this disease. Feel free to visit any disrict- such as Capostrano Unified in Southern California, where autistic children- unarguably properly identified- FILL WHOLE CLASSROOMS. Yes, there are now approximately 16 “Structured Autism Classrooms” in that one district alone. What’s more, the new DSM “criteria” will only INCREASE the numbers, as it will expand to include Asberger’s Syndrome- thought to be a high-level autism. Most of you, I’m sorry, are poorly informed. Where, may I ask, do you get your information. Look up Simon Baron Cohen….he is an Oxford Scholar with longitudinal research and data to support this very real and horrific rise in Autism. With upmost respect, I suggest you all start reading. Maybe you will find it more fair to start being the “devil’s advocate” about something else.

  6. Sarah says:


    I am a parent of an 8 year old boy with autism so I feel I have a right to speak about this. I believe the dramatic increase in autism is largely due to toxic environmental exposure. In August, 2010, experts from the EPA, NIEHS and UC Davis MIND Insitute testfied before a US Senate Subcomittee on Childrens Health and the Environment that environmental facotrs play a significant role in the autism increase yet that testmony got barely any notice in the news. Since then other experts like Dr. Martha Herbert and Dr. Thomas Insel have publically stated that envrionmental factors are involved in the autism increase. The idea that environmental exposure are triggering is something many autism parents have suspected for years only to be fallen on deaf ears. CDC reports that 1 in 70 American boys has autism. Autism clusters have been reported in CA and Minneapolis, MN where 1 in 28 Somali children has severe autism.

    When any exposure scenario is raised for example arsenic in apple juice, it is quickly squashed by industry advocates. Witness Dr. Oz and how he was lambasted on Good Morning America by another doctor (Dr. Bresser) for publically questioning the alarmingly high levels of arsenic in imported childrens apple juice. Oz tried to do the right thing and warn parents yet he was heavily criticized on national television. I think he is right. Imports from overseas (toys, food, medicine) are poorly regulated, unsafe and often downright toxic. We need more doctors like Oz to speak out. His interest is for the health of our nations children. Vey often industry advocates are getting in the way of the truth.

  7. Mickey says:

    I am confident that somebody knows what is causing this, and is sitting on the information because they either are making too much money to stop, or the liability will be to great to face. You can be sure they are cashing out and preparing to run, before it all comes tumbling down on them. This is very reminiscent of the smoking/lung cancer and Freon/ozone scandals of the past.

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