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New study finds one in 50 school kids has autism

March 20, 2013 12:50:02 PM PDT
A startling new government study released Wednesday morning shows a rise in the number of children with autism.

The Centers for Disease Control says one in 50 school kids has autism; a disorder that can affect children socially, intellectually and behaviorally. That ratio is a sharp increase from the 1 in 150, just a decade ago.

ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser explains where the biggest jump is seen.

"They asked parents if their child was severe, moderate, or mildly affected," Dr. Besser said. "The biggest increase was in the mild area. It was fairly flat especially if you look at children with severe autism. That does point to better recognition."

Dr. Besser says genetic and environmental factors should also be looked at closely. He believes these results show an urgent need to focus on autism causes, prevention, and treatment.


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