Government study: One in 100 children have autism disorders

(RAW STORY)   Two new government studies indicate about 1 in 100 children have autism disorders — higher than a previous U.S. estimate of 1 in 150.

Greater awareness, broader definitions and spotting autism in younger children may explain some of the increase, federal health officials said.

“The concern here is that buried in these numbers is a true increase,” said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “We’re going to have to think very hard about what we’re going to do for the 1 in 100.”

Figuring out how many children have autism is extremely difficult because diagnosis is based on a child’s behavior, said Dr. Susan E. Levy of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics subcommittee on autism.

“With diabetes you can get a blood test,” said Levy. “As of yet, there’s no consistent biologic marker we can use to make the diagnosis of autism.”

http://rawstory.com/2009/10/government-study-one-in-100-children-have-autism-disorders/

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