The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just released new prevalence data for children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Data gathered from 11 different states in 2014, including Tennessee, indicate that 16.8 per 1,000 eight-year-olds (1 in 59) were identified as having an ASD. Previously, data indicated that 1 in 68 children could be identified as having ASD.
The CDC does suggest that the increase may be due more to better identification methods than a true increase in the rate of occurrence of ASD, and there is a caution that these data may not generalize to the entire country since only 11 states were included in this study. An additional caution is that there is a transition in diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV-TR to the newer Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V. Studies will continue to evaluate ASD prevalence rates.