Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NJ Tops Nation in Percentage of Kids Diagnosed within Autism Spectrum

New Jersey has the nation's highest rate of autism among children, with 1 in 45 having the spectrum of disorders, according to new data released yesterday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NJ Tops Nation in Percentage of Kids Diagnosed within Autism Spectrum

New Jersey has the nation’s highest rate of autism among children, with 1 in 45 having the spectrum of disorders, according to new data released yesterday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new study prompted two state representatives to call for greater action by both state and federal officials to determine both what triggers and how to treat a number of conditions in the the autism spectrum that are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.

"It is a pandemic," said Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th, at a press conference with officials from the national organization Autism Speaks, following the release of the new CDC study.

Nationally, the CDC found 1 in 68 children with autism in 2010, based on a study of 8-year old students in 11 states, including New Jersey. That's 30 percent higher than the estimate for 2008 and 120 percent higher than the 2000 estimate. CDC officials said they don't know what is causing the increase in the prevalence of the condition, though some may be due to the ways in which children are identified, diagnosed and served.

New Jersey's rate of 1 in 45 is the highest ever recorded by the CDC.

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