About one in 88 children has autism or a related disorder on the spectrum, the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday. These rates—the highest ever—represent a 25 percent increase from the last analysis, in 2006 and a 78 percent increase since 2000. The rate among boys is five times that of girls’, with one in 54 boys reported as being on the autism spectrum as opposed to one in 252 girls. Researchers said about half the increase is due to broader diagnostic criteria and higher awareness, but they are still searching for what else could be driving the spike.
SPECTRUM Bebeto Matthews / AP Photo