Well, I actually think it's more prevalent than this number, but here's the latest report from the CDC.
Bethesda, MD (February 8, 2007) The Autism Society of America (ASA) welcomed the new CDC studies on the prevalence numbers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States as tremendously significant data that will help the cause of improving the lives of all those affected by autism. In data collected from its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM), a population-based, multi-state surveillance network that surveyed 8 year olds in 2000 and 2002, the CDC found that the data confirm that ASD prevalence affects approximately an average of 1 child in every 150. The data represents 10 percent of the U.S. population of 8 year old children.
ASA believes the CDC numbers are tremendously significant. “Finally, we can end the debate on the prevalence of autism in our nation and focus on getting the services and supports the families need,” said Lee Grossman, ASA president and CEO. “Autism is a treatable lifelong condition that affects tens of millions of Americans today. It is time to aggressively address this national health crisis.” The CDC is recommending public health actions to improve early identification of ASD.
The CDC study includes children with behaviors consistent with autism, Asperger’s and pervasive developmental delays not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The data came from 14 sites in five states (Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina and West Virginia). The study also found higher prevalence in boys than girls (a range of 2.8 6 boys to girls, depending on the state) and no statistically significant difference among non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic black children.
Colleen Boyle of the CDC noted that the study showed the age of diagnosis (at between 4-5 years of age) was much later than the age at which developmental concern was registered (before 24 months), underscoring the need for earlier identification of autism.
For information on support, services and identification with ASA, please visit http://www.autism-society.org/.
——————Original Text from the CDC reads as follows…What is the prevalence of autism?CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) (link to ADDM page) Network released data in 2007 that found about 1 in 150 8-year-old children in multiple areas of the United States had an ASD.
Since the ADDM sites do not represent a nationally representative sample, the prevalence estimates should not be generalized to every community in the United States. Although accurate for the areas we studied, rates may be higher or lower in other areas. However, these prevalence estimates can help communities project how many children may have autism for planning and identification purposes. They can also be used to provide for more appropriate interventions for children with ASDs.
What do the ADDM network results tell us about the prevalence of ASD in the United States?Results from CDC’s ADDM network showed the average ASD prevalence among states participating in the project was 6.7 per 1,000 children in 2000 (6 sites) and 6.6 per 1,000 in 2002 (14 sites), or approximately 1in 150 children. Most sites identified between 5.2—7.6 per 1,000 8-year-old children with ASD in 2000 and 2002. There was some variation with ASD prevalence significantly lower in 1 site (3.3 in AL) and higher in 1 site (10.6 in NJ). Prevalence was stable from 2000 to 2002 in 4 of the 6 sites that participated in both surveillance years, but increased slightly in GA and significantly in WV, indicating the need for ongoing monitoring of prevalence over time. These data provide important information on the prevalence of ASD in areas of the United States and will be used to examine trends in the occurrence of these disabilities over time.