An In-depth Exploration of Autism's Astonishing RiseSep 10, 2023
The exponential rise in autism is a well-acknowledged trend that has captured significant attention. Over the past few decades, the recorded incidence of autism has been steadily climbing, drawing concern and curiosity alike. Beginning in the year 2000, the CDC embarked on a comprehensive endeavor to track and document the number of autistic individuals. The results reveal an astounding increase of 316% in autism from 2000 until now (2023).
In an attempt to shed light on this remarkable surge, researchers from Autism Support Now in Kansas City, MO, and the prestigious Froedtert Hospital (Milwaukee, WI), have delved deep into some of the underlying factors.
Their investigation not only seeks to explain the reasons for this steep ascent but also emphasizes the intricate and multifaceted nature of the phenomenon. While the researchers acknowledge that genetics and an ever-evolving environment have contributed to an increased number of autistic children, they also underscore the pivotal role of evolving diagnostic practices and heightened awareness.
The research study suggests that the following could be some of the main contributing factors to why more children are being identified.
1. There is greater public awareness, which lessens the stigma of autism and boosts universal screening and inclusive education.
2. Universal autism screening was implemented in the United States in 2007. This enhances early detection.
3. In 2013, many diagnoses merged, expanding the spectrum and increasing identified cases.
4. Inclusive education mandates lead to more thorough autism evaluations in schools, uncovering previously missed cases.
It is worth noting that there is no single explanation for the rise in the prevalence of autistic individuals. It is impossible to determine if the increase is primarily due to an actual increase in autistic individuals or to increased identification. A combination is the most likely answer.
Autism Advocate Parenting Magazine has written a review of this important research. Delving into these findings promises not only to enrich our knowledge of autism but also to spark critical conversations and potentially influence future approaches to diagnosis, support, and care.
Access the research study here: Quinn, M., Scott, B., Hanson, R.J. (2023) Is there an Autism “Epidemic” in the United States? Journal of Childhood and Developmental Disorders, 9(4), 62.
Access Autism Advocate Parenting Magazine's research review in our article directory by clicking here.
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