CDC: More Arizona kids are being diagnosed with autism than ever before
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - More kids are being diagnosed with autism than ever before in the US, according to new data from the CDC. The CDC compiled data from 11 states including Arizona. The research found 1 in 36 kids who are 8 years old have an autism diagnosis compared to 1 in 44 in 2018.
“I would just urge parents and those that see this, not to be alarmed. We’re just doing our best to screen these children, and the likelihood is that we’re catching kids that were lost before and simply we’re doing better methods of screening,” Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said.
For the first time, the percentage of Asian, Black, and Hispanic children diagnosed was higher than white children. The research also shows that more younger kids in Arizona are being diagnosed. According to the data, 1 in 64 (or 1.6%) 4-year-olds are on the spectrum in Arizona.
“Typically, we will start screening around 18 months of age, and that’s the time where we’re asking parents like, ‘Does your child point? Does your child come to you with toys? Do you notice that when you look at something, they look at something?’ Those are questions that sometimes parents aren’t used to answering, but those are really good indicators that a child might have autism as early as 18 months,” Dr. Kirkilas.
According to the CDC’s website, here are some signs and symptoms that could be related to autism.
- Avoids or does not keep eye contact
- Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
- Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
- Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
- Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age (for example, does not wave goodbye)
- Does not share interests with others by 15 months of age (for example, shows you an object that they like)
- Does not point to show you something interesting by 18 months of age
- Does not notice when others are hurt or upset by 24 months of age
- Does not notice other children and join them in play by 36 months of age
- Does not pretend to be something else, like a teacher or superhero, during play by 48 months of age
- Does not sing, dance, or act for you by 60 months of age
The CDC also has an app where you can monitor your child’s progress called the CDC’s Milestone Tracker. It’s free and available on the App Store or Google Play.
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