Autism spectrum disorders may be more common in the United States than previously believed, according to data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in February.
The new data, collected by institutions participating in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, suggest that approximately 1 in 150 children in the communities studied have an autism spectrum disorder, including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, and Asperger syndrome. These disorders share certain characteristics, including impairments in social interactions and communication skills, limited interests, and a tendency toward repetitive activities. Other recent studies based on data from various countries have suggested the prevalence of such disorders is between 1 in 500 and 1 in 166.
Kuehn BM. CDC: Autism Spectrum Disorders Common. JAMA. 2007;297(9):940. doi:10.1001/jama.297.9.940