Updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 11:10 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 3:41 AM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows the number of children with autism is much higher than first thought.
The report estimates that one in 50 children in the United States has autism.
With this new report, the CDC is not saying autism is occurring more, but it does say that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, including children with mild forms.
According to the CDC, in 2009, the estimate was one in 100 kids.
In 2010 it was one in 88 kids.
These estimates only accounted for kids with severe intellectual or social impairments or unusual, repetitious behaviors.
But this new, dramatically higher estimate of one in 50 kids means that at least 1 million have autism.
For this study, the CDC surveyed nearly 100,000 parents in 2011 and 2012.
Researchers looked at children ages 6-17 and asked range of health questions.
The previous study only looked at 8-year-olds whose diagnosis was noted in the school district or other official records.
The new study found the biggest jump in older children with mild symptoms.
It also found that boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism.
Additionally, the CDC found that up to 20 percent of children who were diagnosed previously no longer have the condition. That could mean they either outgrew it or were misdiagnosed.
Autism is diagnosed based on behavior only, so testing is far from an exact science.
Experts say they’re hopeful this new study brings increased awareness and more autism related services.
Click here to read the CDC’s complete study.
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