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CDC: 1 in 50 U.S. Children Have Autism

10:05 AM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- A new federal survey shows an increase in the number of children with autism.

Research from the Centers of Disease Control shows 1 in 50 children in the United States has autism.  This data is much higher than a recent estimate of 1 in 88 kids.

Dr. Adelaide Robb, M.D. of Children's National Medical Center spoke to 9News' Anita Brikman.

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Dr. Robb says, "I think the big change is that they were picking out in the second report based on the 2011 and 2012 data, milder cases of autism.  So that is what is adding to the higher prevalence of autism of 2 percent instead of 1.16 percent."

The new estimate shows improvement in autism diagnosis.

"Because many of the healthcare providers from the pediatricians to the specialists like the developmental pediatricians and child psychiatrists and psycologists are more aware of looking for and screening for autism earlier in the age of the child instead of waiting until after school is started when the difficulties can arrive," adds Dr. Robb.

Dr. Robb is active in a major clinical trial called ConnectMe.  The program is geared to target the core symptoms of social interaction and language difficulties with a medication that is under and FDA trial.

The program is still enrolling children between 6 and 12.  For more information, you can call the Children's National study line (202) 476-6067, check www.connectmetrial.com or ClinicalTrials.gov.

To see the full interview with Dr. Robb click the video link above.