Around the world, about 1 out of 1,000 children
autism.1 And more may show some features of autism. A Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) study shows that up to 1 out of 110 children in the United States has an
autism spectrum disorder (ASD).2
It is likely that most
cases of autism are passed down through families. Couples who have one child
with autism are more likely to have a second child with autism than couples who
do not have a child with autism.2
Boys are 4 to 5 times more likely than girls to have
Studies show that autism may be recognized more often than it used
to be. This may be because of better detection and a broader definition of autism.
For example, some children who were previously diagnosed with
intellectual disabilities are now being diagnosed with
autism. More study is needed to find the reason for the increase in diagnosis of
Volkmar FR, et al. (2009). Pervasive developmental disorders. In BJ Sadock, VA Sadock, eds., Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 3540-3559. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Williams.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders-Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2006. MMWR, 58(SS-10): 1-20. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5810a1.htm.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
April 12, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 12, 2010
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