Autism spectrum disorders also known as ASD are conditions that interfere with cognitive development. However, the cases may differ in different people with some effects being more pronounced than others. Notwithstanding, autism affects how one interacts or socializes with other people, how they perceive things, and other repetitive behaviors.
The prevalence of Autism in 2016 was estimated to affect only 1.7% of all children in the US. It is not until recently that these values have been updated and it the new figure is expected to be close to 2.0 % – representing a percentage increase of 29% in only two years.
Possible reasons for the increase
Many reasons can be given to explain why the number of children with autism has risen. One answer could be an improvement in identification measures in minority populations. Another reason is that most people nowadays are having kids at an older age. Also, another study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the timing between pregnancies could also be a risk-factor. These are possible causes that are exerting an effect but are not strong enough to explain why these numbers could be on the rise.
There are still some environmental risks that are believed to contribute to this increase. Most of this factors affect a child’s development in the womb or birth-related complications. For instance, new studies link the use of acetaminophen products for four or more weeks to increased cases of ASD.
Early Diagnosis is Key
The take-home message we all get from this finding is that early intervention is vital in combating autism-related disorders. Parents are thus advised to track the development of their kids and act fast whenever they cite a possible concern. Also, those in the medical industry should join hands to ensure any kid with autism is identified and accorded the necessary services as soon as possible.