Autism is on the rise, especially among minorities Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a new report released Thursday, the agency said that — for the first time — black and Hispanic children are diagnosed with autism more frequently than white children in the United States.
Moreover, in 2020, one in every 36 eight-year-old American children has autism.
That number increased from one in 44 two years ago.
New estimates suggest that about 3% of children who are black, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander have a diagnosis of autism, compared to about 2% of white children.
historically, Autism is commonly diagnosed In white children, usually in middle- or higher-income families with the means to go to autism specialists.
More recently, in 2010, white children were considered to be 30% more likely to be diagnosed with autism than black children, and also 50% more likely than Hispanic children.
Experts reportedly attributed the change to improved screening and autism services for all children, and increased awareness and advocacy for black and Hispanic families.
“One of the main reasons why this number is so high is simply because we Recognizing and identifying autism in children “Who’s always been autistic, but missed before,” Dr. Lauren Kenworthy, director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Hospital, told FOX 5 in New York.
Dr. Kenworthy told the station that she thinks it’s clear that medical professionals are getting better at recognizing autism but “whether or not it’s more common remains a question.”
However, it is not clear whether black and Hispanic children with autism receive as much assistance as their white counterparts.
A January study from Delaware and Stanford University found that black and Hispanic children had less access to autism services than white children during the 2017-2018 school year.
What remains consistent in the report is that autism is more common among boys than among girls.
Autism is a developmental disability This is caused by differences in the brain. Some people with autism spectrum disorder have a known variation, such as a genetic condition, but other causes are not yet known.
There is no known biological reason why it is more common in one racial or ethnic group than in another.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.