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NBC News: Autism goes from 1/54 to 1/44; "reflects more awareness/availability of services"

Dec 2, 2021, NBC News: One in 44 U.S. children diagnosed with autism, new data suggests https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/one-44-us-children-diagnosed-autism-new-data-suggests-rcna7485

Experts believe the increase in U.S. autism numbers reflects more awareness and wider availability of services. New autism numbers released Thursday suggest more U.S. children are being diagnosed with the developmental condition and at younger ages. In an analysis of 2018 data from nearly a dozen states, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among 8-year-olds, 1 in 44 had been diagnosed with autism. That rate compares with 1 in 54 identified with autism in 2016. U.S. autism numbers have been on the rise for several years, but experts believe that reflects more awareness and wider availability of services to treat the condition rather than a true increase in the number of affected children.... Geraldine Dawson, director of Duke University’s Center for Autism and Brain Development, said the new estimate is similar to one found in research based on screening a large population of children rather than on those already diagnosed. As such, she said it may be closer to reflecting the true state of autism in U.S. children than earlier estimates