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WASHINGTON - JUNE 4: People hold signs showing the faces of children with autism before a march calling for healthier vaccines June 4, 2008 in Washington, DC. Many at the march are concerned about the connection between heavy metals in vaccines and autism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
According to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, one in 88 children have some form of Autism. It's a 23 percent increase since the last survey on Autism concluded three years ago.
Dr. Stan Nelson, professor at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, believes a big reason for the increase in autism is better surveillance and recognition of children who may have autism. With higher awareness and earlier tests, the total number of children suspected of having autism increases. Dr. Nelson hopes the quality of early intervention programs will increase with higher awareness.
The survey also found that autism is five times more likely in boys than girls. Since the male and female brain develop differently, behaviors that are different between the two genders that are easier to observe. Other childhood disorders like ADHD are more prevalent in boys as well.
Dr. Nelson also makes clear that there isn't an autism epidemic, which might provoke a level or uncertainty about where the basis of the disease is coming from. He believes it's clear that a lot of new diagnoses is about changing who gets diagnoses and treatment.
Dr. Stan Nelson, professor of human genetics at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.