A pair of federally funded studies on autism rates is about to make news — big news — and it isn’t good: It would appear that somewhere around one percent of all US children currently have an autism spectrum disorder. The rate is even higher among six to 11 year olds and among boys, according to data from at least one of the new studies.
If you are an expectant parent, or planning to have a child soon, you might want to sit down before absorbing these staggering statistics, recently released by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), which is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
According to data from the 2007 telephone survey of parents of nearly 82,000 US children, the odds of a child receiving an ASD diagnosis are one in 63. If it is a boy, the chances climb to a science fiction-like level of one in 38, or 2.6% of all male children in America.
But there was also some surprisingly good news. Enormous numbers of children originally diagnosed with ASD went on to shed their diagnosis as they got older, parents reported.
Among all children aged two to 17, according to respondents, one in 100 (100-per-10,000) currently have an ASD diagnosis, which is considerably higher than the previously (CDC) estimated rate of 1-in-150, (or 66-per-10,000).
But researchers were also told by parents that 60-per-10,000 children “had autism, Asperger’s Disorder etc. at some point, but not currently.”
This suggests two rather remarkable things:
1. At some point in their lives, 1-in-63 US children (160-per-10,000) will have an ASD diagnosis and;
2. Out of every 160 children diagnosed with ASD, 60 of them (37.5%) will somehow go on to lose that diagnosis.