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Autism Rate Soars To 1 In 50 Kids


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In less than a year’s time, the federal government is again revising the prevalence of autism upward, saying the developmental disorder now affects 1 in 50 children.

The latest estimate released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comes from a national telephone survey of nearly 100,000 parents conducted in 2011 and 2012.

Parents were asked a number of health questions about their kids including whether they had ever been told by a doctor that their child had an autism spectrum disorder. The results suggest that autism is occurring in 2 percent of school-age children.

That’s substantially higher than prevalence numbers the CDC released just last March which put the rate of autism at 1 in 88 American children. That previous estimate relied on a study of health and education records collected on 8-year-olds. The current research included kids ages 6 to 17, but is considered by some to be less reliable since it is based on parent-reported information.

Federal officials say the increase is largely due to better diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. The jump in prevalence was most pronounced among older kids with milder forms of the condition.

Consistent with previous findings, the survey found that boys were four times more likely than girls to have autism.

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Comments (24 Responses)

  1. Pookie Momma says:

    At what rate will the CDC consider Autism an epidemic?? One would think 1 in 50 would force the need for autism to be the #1 funded and researched disorder…

  2. KA101 says:

    Well, all that money people have been throwing at aut$peaks doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect. Perhaps shifting funds to benefit, rather than eradicate, autistic people is a better solution?

  3. Jess says:

    OMG they’re EVERYWHERE! What can we do?!?!?!?
    Stop listening to autism speaks, and start listening to real people who have autism, for starters. I’m so sick and tired of the “crisis” and “tragedy” rhetoric. It doesn’t help anyone, anywhere on the spectrum. Rather, these attitudes lead to discrimination, self-loathing, and putting money into cures. This money would be better spent on finding and implementing supports, which help us reach our greatest potential NOW.
    *end rant*

  4. JK says:

    Do you have a link to the CDC report? Can’t seem to find it…


  5. Scott Badesch says:

    We can study incidence of autism forever, but sooner or later, we need to have more attention and resources going to help all those who live with autism. If 2,000,000 people in a city were defined as having a need, while some would want to study what caused the need, hopefully we would also want to help those in need of services and support so they can have the highest quality of life. We can study incidence and do research on cause, but it is now time to realize that more are people with an autism diagnosis today then ever before and we got to be a society that is there to help those wonderful individuals. And, we have to start talking about adults as well as children. More and more adults are now autistic then before and there continues to be a strong lack of needed attention to help with adults with employment, housing, and so much more. Let’s stop examining incidence rates so much and start using money to help people today. We are a nation that can spend $1.4 billion to build a new runway at the Ft. Lauderdale airport so people can save 10 or so minutes to take off. But, we have over 500,000 people with a disability nationwide on waiting lists as long as ten or more years waiting for needed services. The money is there. The issue is the national priorities we set on how to use those funds.

    Scott Badesch
    Autism Society of America

  6. mainer says:

    My guess would be that autism is not really occurring that much more frequently, it is just being diagnosed more often. The one factor that may be driving some true increase in the prevalence of autism is the increasing number of older parents. It has been shown in many studies that the older the parents (esp the father) the more likely they will have an autistic child. Unfortunately this information will probably be fodder for anti-vaccine quacks who continue to have the deluded belief that vaccines (or some other environmental factor) is causing autism.

  7. Lesly says:

    the CDC is committed to denying this crisis because of their part in perpetuating it by forcing parents to inject mercury laced vaccines into our children – and lining the pockets of big pharmaceutical. period. could anything be more obvious? despicable.
    meanwhile – children are recovering left and right from biomedical interventions – another fact they deny because their precious big pharm. don’t profit from it. pure evil.

  8. js says:

    I don’t buy it….how can the spectrum be THAT wide, that a person who is verbal, functioning at age level academically, and holding a job be considered to be inflicited with the same disorder that renders others nonverbal, aggressive, totally dependent on others for activities of daily living, and so “tangled” with sensory processing issues? It’s like comparing a sniffle to the full blown flu…sure, both viruses, but no where near each other in severity of symptoms….I think that aspergers should not even be in the same bracket…if it was its own diagnosis, I don’t think the rates would be 1 in 50…my son is severe, and is no where near an asperger’s kid in symptomology

  9. Tacitus says:

    How does it benefit the pharmaceutical companies to hide mercury poisoning? Don’t you know who produces and sells chelation drugs? That’s right, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES.

  10. Courtney says:

    Well said Scott Badesch! The government needs to allot more money for services for our kiddos!

  11. Gregory Doan says:

    As a program developer and a grant writer for a non profit that works with children with autism I whole heartedly agree that more funding should be funneled to current programs for children with autism.

  12. Maureen says:

    It seems like yesterday that the rate for autism was 1:150. That was 2002. We must continue our research to determine the cause(s) of autism while we simultaneously identify the “best practices” in treatment. Let’s solve the puzzle of autism!

  13. VMGillen says:

    Does anyone else think it’s strange that the CDC is touting info based on a telephone SURVEY of parents alone? And, mind you, I parent a young man with what I call “we ain’t kidding” autism. . . in conversations with others, I’d say APA screwed the pooch with the “spectrum” – we ALL fall on the spectrum – the question is, at what point does the Dx become relevant? I share JS’s sentiments.

  14. 2ontheSpectrum says:

    At an incidence rate of 2%, when will the DHHS mandate that insurnace companies in all states cover treatment for autism under the Affordable Care Act? I’m so tired hearning about diagnosing autism and early intervention! People with ASD need lifetime treatment and can live happier, healthier, more productive lives if they receive it.

  15. howard j miller says:

    When Kanner first came up with the diagnosis in 1947 the prevalence of autism was pegged at 3 in 100,000 (Asperger’s diagnosis the following year had similar numbers) . All of the improvements in diagnostics and healthcare could hardly begin to account for this monumental transition. What are the cost implications (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, special education) if these numbers are accurate? Is it rational to expect that current service models will be able to accommodate this group if these numbers are accurate?

  16. Dawn says:

    Regarding a post from “Tacitus”……yes, the big pharma may sell chelation, but the big dollars are in the mandated vaccinations, which just happen to summit 49 vaccines by age 18. So the math is obvious. They ARE trying to do their(big pharma) best at hiding and manipulating facts, regarding vaccine injuries. It is NOT just mercury but also aluminum in the vaccines causing harm…..ever hear of a disease called, “Alheimer’s”? What do post-mortem brain autopsies find every time? Aluminum. Deposits of aluminum. Read some information on Bill Gates and his agenda to control world population with his support from the Bill Gates vaccine foundation. Completely evil. Read how they took those poor little children in Chad, Africa after they were paralyzed by the meningitis vaccine and dropped them off in a small village surrounded by desert with no medical help avail. Ever ask yourself what SIDS really is? Read up on the cervical cancer vaccine killing young girls. It isn’t only autism, but many degrees of injuries. They have admitted in more than one way and the public has seen the Freedom of Information documents from a top official- only meeting describing what and how they should respond to the known facts of mercury-contained vaccines. NOW WHAT HAVE THEY DONE??? Big Pharma, American Psychiatric Association have collaborated on “REVISING” the DSMV-V……purpose??? Now they knew about the projected, increasing pandemic rates of autism injury so they demantle the “Asperger’s Disorder”, which in turn will allow the number of diagnoses of autism to decrease. They were saying they just diagnose it better, but where in the medical schools have they been trained about autism. Every single doctor that I have met, except for a couple, knows very little. If they are diagnosing better seems that the treatments available would also be increasing. I mean if that many physicians knew how to diagnose better, they are certainly eager to treat. It’s not true. But now, as the rate is 1 in 50, we have to do something. I mean, they gave steady increase in vaccines for 30 years and there is no denying the damage, so they have to cut the actual victims that can and should be diagnosed. That way, this will show that for some reason we do not see a correlation with vaccines. Bcause if we have autism rates start to decrease but the number of vaccines increase and or remain same, then the strength of the correlation weakens. Who better to pull American Psychiatric Association strings than Big Pharma. That’s is correct, they have power with CDC, APA, FDA,etc….

  17. Dawn says:

    Sorry, it is “Alzheimer’s Disease”.

  18. Lynn TG says:

    PLEASE don’t post things like phone surveys that don’t have documented proof behind their statistics as a legitimate “study”. While this number may be accurate, hearsay by phone is NOT. Our kids rely on TPTB to be reputable – it is bad enough that parents have to proof credibility, but the people who are autistic need ALL of us to be credible.

  19. Tacitus says:

    Dawn–your tinfoil hat is askew. You talk about math–let’s talk about how many thousands of people have to all be telling the same lie for your conspiracy to survive. With each new lie, you need even more people to keep telling it, and to keep telling the same one. Next you’ll tell me vaccines are to blame for pedophile priests. It’s a scary world, Dawn. There’s evil all around.

  20. autismUXB says:

    Blow are 10 questions to consider the industry’s primary motivation of profit . Also, realize that the medical establishment refers to the health of the population as “herd immunity” and that it is allowed to police itself
    1-Why is there a need to put a preservative in the vaccines?
    2-Why are multiple doses in the container? Why not one dose, one container, and the a preservative isn’t needed?
    3-The container needs to be shaken when used. What happens when all of the preservative is given to one victim, because it wasn’t shaken?
    4-Who tests the vaccines for quality?
    5-How does anyone know that thermerasol is no longer being used?
    6-If it’s not being used, what preservative is being used? How toxic is that substance? As quoted from a parent- “mercury is a poison for the neurological system. It’s basic science- “Look it up!” Obviously, any toxin is going to be especially dangerous to developing infants and children.
    7-The studies quoted by the medical community have been based on purely epidemiological (selectively statistical) data and not on any biological studies. Read “EVIDENCE of HARM” by Davis Kirby.
    8-There is an arrogance among medical professionals to disregard parents’ observation.
    9-Genetics is not an answer for autism, even though it makes a good scam (it also is a way of blaming parents- like the old “refrigerator mother” theory or the “old sperm” theory). In particular, why has the condition suddenly appeared now and not in prior generations?
    10-If it’s not the vaccines, what is causing it? There is certainly no urgency to find a cause, all the effort in this area has gone to deny the vaccine connection. Why isn’t there an inquiry into the recent so called “accidental” destruction of the autistic brains that were being studied.

  21. yankeegirl says:

    While some small percentage of autism cases may be solely genetic did occur to anyone we could be witnessing a mass poisoning?

  22. Tacitus says:

    All of your tin-foil hat theories are predicated upon the idea that autism is a brand new phenomenon–which is not true. It does show up in the older generations. What is it with you people, do you think we all have horns? You can’t pick us out by sight. Stop claiming we’d “stand out in a crowd.” Most of us work our entire lives to avoid standing out. You literally have no idea how many of us are around you at any one time. I don’t know where you think you get this magical radar, but wherever it comes from it’s on the fritz. We come in all ages, all shapes, all sizes. We look exactly like you.

    As for the “arrogance” of scientists: excuse me, but they have actually taken the time to go to school and learn about this stuff. Who is more arrogant, the person who trusts the fruit of all that labor, or the person who puts their faith in a conclusion they drew from incomplete information? For example: most of the childhood vaccines we get have never even contained mercury in the first place. But that little tidbit doesn’t sell nearly as many newspapers.

  23. AutismAware says:

    autismUXB- I can quickly solve a few of your riddles… or “questions” as you erroneously call them:

    1-Why is there a need to put a preservative in the vaccines?- This is a ridiculous question. Go ahead and question the preservatives in your food also, while you’re at it. Most consumables contain preservatives so don’t just vilify vaccines in your tirade. I hope you are posting this on Monsanto boards as well, asking why the cornflakes you ate this morning are toxic.
    2-Why are multiple doses in the container? Guess what? Manufacturers DO sell MOST of their vaccines in single dose, preservative free containers. I’d say that all of them are available that way, but the difference between me and you is that I don’t put things on websites that I don’t know as facts. But you might find it simple really to go online and look at this- or go get a flu shot.
    3-The container needs to be shaken when used. What happens when all of the preservative is given to one victim, because it wasn’t shaken? Not shaking the vial does not lead to all of the preservatives being given to one “victim”. Actually, shaking the vial is primarily done to reveal whether or not the vaccine has frozen while in cold-chain. Particulates would indicate frozen matter. NOT preservatives. Please, get your facts straight before you incite conspirators to join you in your crusade against healthcare.
    4-Who tests the vaccines for quality? WHO, or “World Health Organization,” set the standards for vaccine quality adherence; the same people who can be seen championing for Autism research. They collaborate with Autism Speaks and host worldwide Autism Awareness days… so, why, again,would they let “bad” vaccine fly under their radar? Or is that a conspiracy too?
    5-How does anyone know that thermerasol is no longer being used? It’s quite public, actually, that Thimerasol is still in use. The vaccine manufacturers themselves state this on their website, on their vials, etc. If you took one look, anywhere at all (that’s credible), you’d find this. Nobody is trying to hide this, because it’s not dangerous.
    6-If it’s not being used, what preservative is being used? How toxic is that substance?- Now you’re just searching for some kind of conspiracy. Nope, it’s still Thimerasol. And guess what? You get more of that by eating a can of TUNA, than you do from any dose of vaccine containing the preservative.
    7-“The studies quoted by the medical community…are biased”- You are searching for a conspiracy. Whenever someone searches hard enough, and is as myopic as you clearly are, they will fail to see any other side of the argument.
    8-There is an arrogance among medical professionals to disregard parents’ observation.- Thanks for your opinion. I wouldn’t call this a fact. Or a question. not sure what it’s doing in your list of questions. Same for “question” 9.

    10-If it’s not the vaccines, what is causing it? — Really? It’s vaccine or NOTHING? You can’t possibly identify any other suspect? That’s poor police work right there.

  24. Ima says:

    THe website itself warns of the dangers of MMR and MMRV for those who have autoimmune issues or allergies to egg substrates. We do not have to call concerned parents quacks when they are concerned about brain pathologies which even CDC admits. Let’s not minimize one’s concern or the hard road that a parent must walk when their otherwise healthy child had a neurological response in the form of a high pitched scream rather than a cry when vaccinated.

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