"CDC: Autism Diagnoses Growing By 10 To 17 Percent Annually"

"The figure is so astounding it appears to be a misprint at first glance. One in 110. That's the number of American children living with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), based on the most recently published estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

"Boys are four to five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with an ASD. And with a 10 to 17 percent annual growth rate, it is the country's fastest growing developmental disability, according to the Autism Society.

A 2005 census study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare's Bureau of Autism Services estimated about 20,000 Pennsylvanians, children and adults, were living with autism, although the study noted that the number was on the conservative side. The bureau now believes that number has grown to between 25,000 and 30,000 state residents.

Meanwhile, the commonwealth is among the states the CDC monitors through its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. The network's most recently published surveillance year, 2006, estimated that 8.4 per 1,000 children in Pennsylvania had an ASD, a 58 percent increase in total prevalence, from 1 in 190 children in 2002 to 1 in 120 children in 2006."

Josh McAuliffe reports for the Scranton Times-Tribune October 23, 2011.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, 10/24/2011