The more advanced the health industry is becoming; the
more health related conditions are emerging into human life. One of the most
discussed and controversial topic of today in health sector is Autism. This
condition has gained so much attention but unfortunately it is still called a mystery.
The health science industry is spending extreme amount of money to find the
cause of this disability, however, the more the research is getting done, the
more reason are being discovering for having this condition. Autism spectrum
disorder is not only point of concern for parents, schools, districts,
communities, health industries, countries, and perhaps even world. The high
prevalence of Autism is most concerning area of study for neuroscience,
parents, school and country. The increasing number of this condition is becoming
a frightening for people of this country and world as well. The researchers are
working on this important matter for years and years and have discover that
there are several reason that contributes for this condition. The recent
research indicates that more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism
spectrum disorder, . (Buescher et al., 2014). The increase stems of from
growing awareness of autism and changes to the condition’s diagnostic criteria
has sparked the fear of autism epidemic.
The most surprising fact of Autism is that there is no
blood test, brain scan or another objective that can diagnose autism. In fact,
there are several researcher trying to develop such test, so this condition can
be identifying in early on. The one and only option we are left to diagnose
this condition is observation of person’s behavior, which currently practiced by
clinician, school psychologist etc. The criteria to diagnose autism in U.S has
laid out in Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM). The most
common behavior such as problems with social communication and interactions,
and restricted interests or repetitive behaviors are the criteria in this
manual for diagnosing this condition and these features must be present in
According to the Coleen Boyle, the director of the CDC’s National Center
on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities “The picture of autism is
changing.” This can be true for many
reasons, for example, the prevalence of boys in this condition than girls. The
CDC Center of disease control have estimated that in in 68 children in US have
autism, and 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. These reports provide a gender
ratio of about five boys for every girl. A
consistent finding in virtually all epidemiologic studies of ASD is the excess
prevalence among boys relative to girls (Fombonne, 2009).
be seen in the trend lines from the ADDM Network prevalence findings shown in Figure 14-2, which
also show that the rise in ASD prevalence from 2000 to 2010 was somewhat
steeper for boys than girls, resulting in an increase in the sex ratio (boys to
girls) from 3.5 in 2000 to 4. 5 in 2010. Jon, Baio. (2014, March 28).
The highest prevalence
that is reported by a 2008 survey, they gathered the data from more than 14 sites
across the U.S; and what their finding indicates is more disturbing. The low prevalence
was found in Alabama and the highest prevalence was found in New Jersy.
In Unites States according
to the CDC New Jersey has the highest rates of
ASD 1 in 41 children (2.5% of children). The 2012 CDC tracked report shows
higher percentage ( 1.5) in all communities. The New Jersey rate marks an increase
of 12% from the previous 1
in 45 statistic released two years ago. The
first studies of the prevalence of autism, which were conducted in the 1960s
and 1970s in Europe and the United States, reported prevalence estimates in the
range of 2 to 4 cases per 10,000 children (Lotter, 1966; Rutter, 2005; Treffert, 1970).
typical issue is faced by parents is misdiagnoses, and it does play a huge role
in prevalence of autism. The history shows that many individuals diagnosed with
autism may have misdiagnosed with other conditions such as intellectual
disabilities etc. Since the rise of diagnoses of autism have increased the
intellectual disability have decreased. Further more, the diagnosis become very
beneficial in some way because a diagnosis of autism gives
children greater access to specialized services and special education than do
diagnoses of other conditions. To take the maximum advantage of this
opportunity, our clinicians give diagnoses of autism to child who is in
borderline of the clinical criteria.
When it come to assessing
the child, previous versions of the DSM
did not allow for children to be diagnosed with both autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The DSM-5 allows multiple diagnoses, and most children with
developmental delay are routinely screened for autism. The ADDM Network approach to monitoring ASD prevalence assumes that most
children in the United States with ASD will have received a developmental
assessment or a special educational assessment providing documentation of ASD
diagnostic criteria by the age of 8 years (Durkin et al., 2014).
used to rely on the criteria outlined in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic
and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders(DSM).
There are several pros and cons comes with these diagnostic
testing reports, such as, the latest edition of the diagnostic manual, DSM-5, which debuted last May, folds these categories into a single
diagnosis of autism, even the next CDC report, which will use data from 2012, will
be based on the DSM-IV. Eventually, however, the DSM-5 criteria may affect
autism prevalence, possibly excluding some individuals who would be diagnosed with PDD-NOS
under DSM-IV guidelines. Willingham, Emily. (2014, March 31)
These new estimates of prevalence may alarm
different type of shift, There’s greater awareness in the community around
autism, more training of clinicians, more early childhood educators — that
whole effort has increased awareness.
differences in variation in awareness may also underlie the numbers from state
to state because the wide variability in the resources available for diagnosing
and serving children in different communities. It is
likely that the rise in autism prevalence during the latter decades of the 20th
century, based on epidemiologic studies, can be attributed largely to the
expansion of diagnostic criteria and the adoption of the concept of autism as a
spectrum of impairments (ASD) that occurred during this period (Fombonne, 2009; King and Bearman, 2009; Rice, 2013; Wing and Potter, 2002).
Although ASD can be diagnosed before
age 2 years in some children and is typically a lifelong condition Thomas
F. Boat and Joel T. Wu (2015)
or disability, population-based studies have
shown that the median age at which children receive a formal diagnosis or ASD classification
is 5.2 to 5.7 years (Maenner et al., 2014; Shattuck et al., 2009).
There are several other aspects to this steep rate of
autism prevalence, such as Association Between
Socioeconomic Status and ASD Prevalence in the United States and Potential
Under-Identification of ASD Among Low-Income Children. In the United States, the prevalence
of ASD as identified in both the ADDM Network surveillance system and in the
National Health Interview Survey increases with increasing socioeconomic status
(SES) (Boyle et al., 2011; Durkin et al.,
2010). This SES slope
in ASD prevalence could be due to inequalities in access to services. Figure 14-10 displays the results of an analysis of
ADDM Network data showing the prevalence of ASD to be nearly twice as high in
children in the highest SES compared with those in the lowest SES tertile.
Similarly, the NHIS data show a dose–response association between maternal
education and the prevalence of reported ASD in children, which ranged from 2.5
per 1,000 among offspring of mothers with less than a high school education to
6.1 per 1,000 among offspring of mothers with a bachelor’s degree (Boyle et al.,
2011). This SES
gradient suggests that low-income children with ASD might be under identified
and less likely to be receiving ASD-related services than middle- and high-income
children with ASD. This observation is relevant for the SSA, as applications
for benefits may continue to rise for children in low-income families. Boat TF, Wu JT. (2015, Oct 28).
Prevalence per 1,000 of ASD by three SES indicators based
on census block group of residence
report also found that black and Hispanic children continue to receive
developmental evaluations later than white children and continue to be
diagnosed with autism at lower rates.
Figure above represent the Prevalence of autism per 1000 eight-year-old children,
by estimated degree of impairment and median household income of census tract
of residence, four counties in New Jersey, 2000 and 2002. Error bars represent
95% confidence intervals. All dollars are US$.
show a strong ecological association of ASD prevalence with SES, with an
adjusted prevalence ratio of 2.2 comparing census tracts with highest
(>$90,000) versus lowest (?$30,000) median incomes. An association of
race/ethnicity with prevalence of ASD seen in univariate analysis was no longer
present when adjusting for median income of census tract.
racial and ethnic disparities in ASD prevalence as determined by the ADDM
Network are seen for each surveillance year between 2002 and 2010, with the
prevalence being highest among white non-Hispanic children and lowest among
Hispanic children. The trend of rising prevalence of ASD over time occurred for
all racial and ethnic subgroups monitored (Baio, 2012, 2014; Rice, 2009;
White children were approximately
30% more likely to be identified with ASD than black children and were almost
50% more likely to be identified with ASD than Hispanic children. The white-to-black
prevalence ratios is significant in various areas, and the white-to-Hispanic
ratios are significant as well. Black children were approximately 10% more
likely to be identified with ASD than Hispanic children.
Most of the children being
diagnosed with autism were identified by their parents as non-Hispanic
The changing criteria and awareness probably are accountable
for the rise of prevalence, Experts say the autism rate has likely been the
same all along, but increased awareness and education means doctors are now
able to diagnose most, if not all, of the children on the autism spectrum
before adulthood. Comparing the autism
rates over the last three decades is pretty complicated because the diagnostic
criteria for autism have changed with each revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which outlines which symptoms meet the criteria for an ASD diagnosis.
The other factors that play a significant role of the
prevalence are equally important. For example having older parents, particularly an older father, may boost the risk of autism. Children born prematurely also are at increased risk of autism, and more
premature infants survive now than ever before.