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Indiana: "15,210 school-age students whose primary disability was ASD...this year it's 15,721"

Mar 29, 2018, Batesville (IN) Herald: Autism in education http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/autism-in-education/article_f81491b8-7a5e-5b44-a8ca-64e671088be0.html For the second year in a row, Jenn Kersey has advocated for a legislative summer study committee to look at issues focused on autism and public education. … Surge in numbers According to the Indiana Department of Education, last year, the state identified 15,210 school-age students whose primary disability was autism spectrum disorder; this year, it is 15,721, an increase of 511 or 3.3 percent. "This has been the trend for the last several years," said Pamela Wright, IDOE director of the office of special education. … Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University, has witnessed the increase in children diagnosed with autism. She's been in the field for several decades, and when she started, it was one 10,000 nationally; now it's one in 68. No one really knows why, whether it's increased awareness, better diagnosis or other factors, she said…. And not only is she seeing more children with ASD, "I'm seeing more children who have co-occurring mental health issues as well. We know that anxiety is very common among children on the spectrum, and with anxiety comes depression," Pratt said. "But in addition to that, I also see children who have other co-occurring issues going on. So we have more kids who are coming to us with more complex issues." …