Autism rates have tripled. Is it now more common or are we just better at diagnosis?

New research suggests doctors have improved at identifying autism, especially among children with average or above-average IQs. But that doesn’t fully explain the trend.

Raising awareness about Autism (KPRC)

Autism rates tripled among children in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area from 2000 to 2016, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Pediatrics.

The authors, a team from Rutgers University, calculated the trend by analyzing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates of the number of children who’ve been identified as having autism spectrum disorder by age 8.

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Although there is no medical test for autism, the CDC has established a network of 17 sites across the country that estimate autism rates based on a combination of formal medical diagnoses and records from schools and health care providers.

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