US: Autism is more common than previously thought

ATLANTA (AP) -- A new U.S. government report says autism is more common than previously thought, burdening as many as 1 in 88 children.

Health officials attribute the increase largely to better recognition of cases through wide screening and better diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the numbers Thursday. They are the latest in a series of studies that have been steadily increasing the government's estimate for autism.

The new estimate means autism is nearly twice as common as officials said it was only five years ago. It likely affects roughly 1 million U.S. children and teens.


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