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Lake Charles, LA: PREPARE FOR MORE AUTISM; "reason for rise...remains unclear"

Feb 8, 2023, KPLC TV, Lake Charles, LA: Autism diagnoses increase likely due to more awareness

According to a new study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics, autism diagnoses have tripled between 2000 and 2016.

The reason for the rise in autism rates remains unclear.

“Currently there’s no known cause so it’s really hard to speculate why there’s an increase in prevalence rates, I will say that I think with increased autism awareness people are more in tune with characteristics earlier on so clinicians and parents are able to notice those symptoms sooner,” said Zack Storer, clinical director and behavioral analyst with the St. Nicholas Center in Lake Charles.

The CDC reports one in 44 children is diagnosed with autism.

Storer believes early detection plays a key role in healthy development.

“Early detection will basically grant access quicker and get access to early intervention faster and through that you’ll see better treatment outcomes,” he said.

However parents may have a tough time getting their child the proper treatment.

“I think that waiting lists across the board for early intensive services have definitely increased definitely think they need the services and need more places,” Storer said.

Those at St. Nicholas create specific programs catered to each child that allows them to grow and continue to learn.

Storer has worked with autistic children for a decade and has seen kids make great strides over the years.

“For me seeing each learner progress in the program and make those gains is why I come, it’s been beneficial, ”Storer said.


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