The data available with the authorities has revealed an interesting turn compared to the data from earlier years. From the year 2014 to 2016, ASD disorder rates have remained relatively stable as per the new data released.
Researchers highlight this as being a welcome change owing to the steady increase of the disorder over the last decade.
The recently published research letter surveyed responses from over 30,000 young autistic children with ages ranging from 3 to 17 years old, along with their families.
The survey ran over a period of 2 consecutive years with adults in every household being asked if any medical practitioner had ever communicated to them about their child having Asperger’s, Autism, Pervasive developmental disorder or ASD disorders. After running the survey, the results obtained from the study were adjusted to account for the differences owing to age factors, ethnicity, and gender of the surveyed crowd.
As researchers made headway into finding the answers, they observed 2.14% of the participating youngsters to be diagnosed with ASD in the year 2014. This data was further analyzed with the survey results of 2015 and 2016 and it was found the autism rates fluctuated between 2.41% to 2.58%.
Nevertheless, ASD disorder rates varied when sub-groups of individuals were taken into consideration. For instance, over the analyzed time frame, 1.22% of the girls were found to be diagnosed with ASD while on the other hand, 3.54% of the boys were diagnosed with ASD during the same time interval.
When the data was further broken into smaller chunks, autism prevalence was seen to be 1.78% in Hispanic youngsters; white children still had a higher diagnosis with 2.71% of the children being diagnosed with the condition. Black children stood at 2.36% of the overall autism diagnoses during this time period.
However, the average estimate for ASD prevalence among young children in the analysis stood at 2.4%. The data was surveyed by the department of Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Nevertheless, another report ran a survey which clocked autism prevalence to be at an all-time low of 1.46%.
The discrepancies in the obtained results can be attributed to the study differences, note the authors.
For instance, one study observed and evaluated the healthcare and educational factors combined to determine the prevalence rates while the other study evaluated answers that were obtained from interviewing parents.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the current study in question did in no way gather any information relating to the causes triggering the disorder nor averaged the factors that changed over time.
Although there are multiple studies that have highlighted during earlier research about ASD rates being on a steady rise, this report provides a different outlook arguing that the rates might have started to level off.
ASD diagnosis has undergone multiple changes since earlier times owing to increased awareness among the public and children being referred to trained therapists much earlier. The authors have successfully documented other potential changes owing to the environmental risks and genetic factors.