Diagnosis Of Autism: What We Do Know
Autistic children benefit from early diagnosis, preferably in the first two years of life. Early diagnosis allows behavioral therapy or other treatments to begin early when it seems to be most effective. If you are concerned about your child, talk to your doctor about a referral to see a specialist who can help determine if follow-up is needed. Signs of autism may include symptoms such as:
- no babbling or pointing by age 1
- no single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
- no response to name
- loss of language or social skills
- poor eye contact
What Percent Of Babies Born In America Every Year Have Autism
Approximately 1 in 150 children have autism, that is approx. 73a day, and approx. 26,767 children a year are born with autism inthe US.
Numbers are up from 1 in 10,000 a generation ago, and 3-4generations ago, autism was practically unknown.
Reasons for the increase may include:
– Increased numbers of pregnant women on medication duringpregnancy. For example, the anticonvulsant drug sodium valproate is proven in studies to cause a 10% risk ofautism when unborn babies are exposed to it.
– Various other anticonvulsant drugs and hormonal drugs are alsosuspect, and under investigation for causing increased risk ofautism.
– Increased diagnosis. More children at the “softer” end of thespectrum are now obtaining diagnosis.
– Environmental genetic damage. It is generally accepted thatcertain chemicals in our environment cause genetic damage. This maybe associated with the increase in autism rates.
– Older parental ages. Women are having children when older.Genetic damage is more likely to occur in eggs from older women,and in sperm cells from older men.
Unknown but possible candidates for autism rate increaseinclude:
– foetal ultrasound, which has never been tested for humansafety yet is now universal
– vaccine overload, where too many vaccines create an immuneresponse overload in young children / babies
– general environmental pollution, including lead and Mercury,plus a host of other damaging chemicals and poisons.
The Cost Of Lifelong Care For Those Who Have Autism Can Be Reduced By 66% With An Early Diagnosis
Autism is a tough medical disorder to deal with. For this reason, getting an early diagnosis is a great way to reduce medical expenditures and health costs. In fact, most autism facts and statistics confirm the overall benefits of an early diagnosis. And with an early diagnosis, the cost of lifelong care for people dealing with autism can be seriously reduced.
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Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.
Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.
The age of the mother and father
Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia
Maternal infections during pregnancy.
Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.
Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers
Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.
Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.
Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.
Source: Harvard Health Publications
Strength And Limitations Of This Study
Validated source of information of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.
The use of systematic data that were collected prospectively on a large population.
No information was available regarding ASD disease severity.
nly boys were included, contrasting with other studies that included both sexes.
Lack of information in our population on influenza infections and vaccines.
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Top 10 Autism Statistics For 2021
- Around 5.4 million people in the US are autistic.
- One in 54 American children is autistic.
- 40% of autistic people are more anxious.
- There is a 13% prevalence of sleep disorder in autistic people.
- Data on autism rates indicates that 7% of children born prematurely are autistic.
- 61% of autistic children present with minimal or no functional speech.
- In England, 71% of autistic children continue their education in mainstream schools.
- 40% of autistic adults who work part-time want to work more hours.
- ASD costs amount to $268 billion annually.
- The mortality rate of autistic people is double that of the general population.
What Other Health Conditions Affect People With Down Syndrome
- About 50% of all babies born with Down syndrome are also born with a congenital heart defect. Babies with Down syndrome can be affected by a wide variety of heart defects. Many of these conditions will need surgery, while some milder heart defects might go away on their own as the child grows and may only need to be monitored by a healthcare provider.
- Compared to children without Down syndrome, children with Down syndrome are at higher risk for:
- Hearing loss
- Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where a persons breathing temporarily stops while asleep
- Ear infections
- Eye diseases, like cataracts
- Eye issues requiring glasses
- Heart defects present at birth
- Intestinal blockage at birth requiring surgery
- Hip dislocation
- Thyroid disease
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Leukemia in infancy or early childhood
- Hirschsprung disease This article includes the American Academy of Pediatrics Health Supervision for children with Down syndrome from 2011.
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Little Pointing Or Gesturing
Babies usually learn to gesture before they learn to talk. In fact, gesturing is one of the earliest forms of communication. Autistic children generally point and gesture much less than children with nonautistic development. Less pointing can sometimes indicate the possibility of a language delay.
Another indicator of a developmental difference is when an infants gaze doesnt follow you when youre pointing at something. This skill is sometimes called joint attention. Joint attention is often decreased in autistic children.
Case Identification And Matching
The California Department of Developmental Services determines and coordinates services for persons with developmental disabilities through its 21 independent contracting regional centers. The Client Developmental Evaluation Report is the instrument used to periodically evaluate clients age 3 years and older. For younger clients, the Early Start Report is used. We obtained these files from the Department of Developmental Services for the period of 1990 2008 and matched them with California birth records of 1990 to 2002 to identify children in the birth file who developed autism. The overall matching rate was above 90%. Details of the matching method and identification of autism cases in the Department of Developmental Services data base have been described elsewhere.
Autism cases were defined as full syndrome autism on the Client Developmental Evaluation Report, or International Classification of Disease code 299.0 in any field in which ICD codes could be noted on either the Client Developmental Evaluation Report or the Early Start Report, or a checkmark for autism under developmental disabilities. Those children who met the criteria and were younger than six years of age at the time of the diagnosis were considered cases.
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Rates Are On The Rise
An estimated 1 in 40 children in this country have autism to some degree, according to a recent study from Pediatrics based on 2016 data. That’s about 1.5 million children between the ages 3 to 17. Nationwide, autism strikes three to four times more boys than girls the rates are about the same for kids of all races.
Although there seems to be an autism epidemic, the Pediatrics study attributes the increasing prevalence to more inclusive reporting. The definition of autism has been expanded in the past decade to include a wider spectrum of problems with communication and social interaction. “Ten years ago, many children with mild autism were simply not diagnosed,” says Adrian Sandler, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Mission Children’s Hospital, in Asheville, North Carolina, and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on children with disabilities. Plus, there are more state and federal programs for autistic kids, giving doctors an incentive to diagnose and refer them. However, there may be additional, unknown reasons for the spike in autism rates, and researchers are investigating everything from environmental toxins to viruses to food allergies.
How Many People Are Living With Down Syndrome In The United States
- Down syndrome continues to be the most common chromosomal disorder. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome, which is about 1 in every 700 babies born.
- Older mothers are more likely to have a baby affected by Down syndrome than younger mothers. In other words, the prevalence of Down syndrome increases as the mothers age increases. Prevalence is an estimate of how often a condition occurs among a certain group of people. To estimate the prevalence of Down syndrome, the number of pregnancies affected by Down syndrome is compared to the total number of live births.
Children and Adults:
- In 2002, about 1 out of every 1,000 children and teenagers living in the United States had Down syndrome. This means that in 2002 about 83,000 children and teenagers were living with Down syndrome.
- Researchers estimated that in 2008 about 1 out of every 1,200 people living in the United States had Down syndrome. This means that in 2008 about 250,700 children, teens, and adults were living with Down syndrome in the United States.
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New Research On Autism And Our Environment
Sex hormones, medications, certain metals such as lead, pesticides, and chemicals used to make plastic hard or pliable have long been suspected of having a role in autism. They have not been proven to cause autism, but these are known to trigger or worsen other health problems, including some that affect the brain. Many studies have shown that chemical exposures during development in the womb can have much more serious health effects than the same exposures would in adults.
A large 2014 study investigated the connection between autism and genital malformations using health insurance claims from almost a third of the U.S. population. Like autism, genital malformations are increasing: cases of undescended testicle increased 200% between 1970 and 1993, and the percentage of boys born with a deformity of the penis known as hypospadia doubled. Many studies have shown that these malformations are more common among children whose mothers have high levels of chemicals that affect the hormones in their bodies, such as phthalates which are found in cleaning products, medicines, and personal care products like shampoos and creams The link between these chemicals and genital malformations has surfaced in other studies, particularly those involving women in professions that require working daily with these chemicals.
Asd Is Four Times More Likely To Occur In Boys Than Girls
That said, the validity of this stat should be put under scrutiny. According to autism misdiagnosis statistics, many autistic girls go undiagnosed. One of the reasons for that is that girls are often thought to be quieter by nature. Finally, symptoms of mental health issues might overlap with those of autism, leading up to a misdiagnosis.
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Cdc: New Study Is ‘helpful’
“This study is a helpful step forward in identifying possible risk factors for autism,” says Jose Cordero, MD, MPH, in a news release. Cordero directs the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
“It also indicates that there may be some children for whom we need extra vigilance in watching for signs of developmental delay,” he continues. “In recent years, many programs and studies have found that early recognition of autism is important because early treatment can significantly improve a child’s development.”
Prenatal Testing Has Halved The Number Of Babies Born With Down Syndrome In Europe Study Finds
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- A new study finds that the growth of prenatal screening in Europe has reduced the number of babies being born per year with Down syndrome by an average of 54 percent.
The growth of prenatal screening in Europe has reduced the number of babies being born per year with Down syndrome by an average of 54%, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and international Down syndrome organizations. In research published in 2016, the same team found that 33% fewer babies with DS per year were born in the United States as a result of pregnancy terminations.
Equally important, however, was for the study to establish a baseline of DS birth rates and pregnancy termination rates ahead of widespread adoption of new noninvasive prenatal screenings . The new screening tests can detect the likelihood of a chromosomal condition in a fetus as early as nine weeks of gestation, after which an expectant couple can elect to pursue definitive genetic testing. As NIPS becomes widely available, fewer babies with DS are expected to be born.
Explore the latest scientific research on sleep and dreams in this free online course from New Scientistâ
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The Outlook For Autism In 2021
While autistic individuals face difficulties that make various aspects of life more challenging, greater knowledge about the disorder has paved the way to better therapies. Autism research has allowed for more effective diagnostic processes as well as enhanced treatments and a better understanding of necessary accommodations for those with the disorder.
Effective interventions, therapies, and health care services greatly improve quality of life for those autism. Thanks to these advancements in our approach to autism treatment, there are more opportunities for autistic individuals than ever before.
Autism Statistics By Age
Today, autism diagnoses usually happen in early childhood, which may be why autism rates in children are higher than those in adults. However, because the definition of autism spectrum disorder has drastically evolved, many teens and adults could be living with undiagnosed ASD.
- Of those children with autism, 44% were evaluated by age 3.
- Children with a clinical diagnosis of autism has a median age of diagnosis of 4 years and 3 months.
- Prevalence estimates of autism in adults born between 1980 and 2012 are predicted to exceed 2.8% due to new diagnostic criteria. Thats about 3 out of every 100 adults in the U.S. in the future could carry a diagnosis based on this new criteria.
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How Many Babies Are Born Each Day In The World
The UN estimates that around 385,000 babies are born each day around the world . This number will remain relatively stable in the 50 years from 2020 to 2070. From 2070 to 2100, the number will decline to around 356,000 . The crude birth rate is 18.2 births per 1,000 population or 267 births globally per
To Identify Participant Characteristics That May Be Associated With Autism Characteristics In Preterm Samples
To explore participant characteristics associated with autism characteristics, the influence of participants age at assessment and gestational age on prevalence rates were assessed using a meta-regression . Both meta-regressions revealed no significant associations between age at assessment or mean gestational age and prevalence of autism characteristics. Due to insufficient data, it was not possible to assess the profile of autism characteristics in individuals born preterm and consider how this differed from individuals born at term.
Table 4 Participant characteristics influencing the prevalence of autism diagnosis in individuals born preterm
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Early Treatment Of Autism Can Help Improve Outcomes
Medical reports made on autism patients who had early autism treatment always showed better results than parents who acted late. Many autism diagnosis statistics have revealed that the earlier the diagnosis and the sooner ASD is treated, the better the outcomes are among the children affected by it.
Accelerated Growth Of The Circumference Of The Head In Relation To Its Starting Point
A study conducted by Courchesne found that, in certain cases, children diagnosed with autism were born with small head circumferences, but within two years the circumference grew rapidly so that it reached larger dimensions of head circumference in comparison to typical development of children. This sign is not conclusive for autism.
It is important to note that each of these symptoms may indicate other disorders not related to autism! It is therefore imperative to first and foremost conduct medical examinations to negate these possibilities. Once this has been done and two of the above-mentioned symptoms persist over time, the possibility of a development disorder linked to autism should be investigated.
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Autism Society Of America
The Autism Society is the nations leading grassroots autism organization and exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. Annually, the Autism Society and its nearly 80 local affiliates served more than 620,000 individuals impacted by autism through education, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, information and referral services, support, and providing community inclusion and acceptance at the national, state and local levels. Each April, we celebrate National Autism Awareness Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change. Learn more atwww.autism-society.org, or visit our NAAM website, autismawarenessmonth.org.