Search

Harvard: We don't know a lot about autism: "exactly what causes it/why it is becoming more common"

Aug 23, 2019, Health Harvard: How early can you — and should you — diagnose autism? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-early-can-you-and-should-you-diagnose-autism-2019082317653 Autism is common. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 59 children has been diagnosed with autism. That’s a marked rise from 2000, when only 1 in 150 children had been diagnosed with autism. There is a lot we don’t know about autism, such as exactly what causes it or why it is becoming more common. But one thing we do know is that the earlier we start treating it, the better. Communication and social skills are built very early. We have our best chance of improving things if we work within that natural window. That’s why there has been a steady push toward making the diagnosis as early as possible…. And indeed, some children are late bloomers, or quirky, or have an entirely different problem with their development. So how early can you reliably diagnose autism?... At what age can the diagnosis be reliably made? At 12 to 13 months the “diagnostic stability” of the autism diagnosis — meaning the degree to which it was certain and stuck — was about 50%. This went up to 80% by 14 months, and 83% by 16 months. …