Sunday, April 1, 2012

I am the 1 in 252 and 88: New autism prevalence numbers

Infographic by Landon Bryce: 1 of 252 girls in U.S. has autism
New autism prevalence rates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in 88 children in the United States has autism. The autism rate for girls is one in 252.

Landon Bryce (thAutcast) has created infographics about the autism statistics at As a woman diagnosed in adulthood on the autism spectrum, I consider myself to be a “1” among the 252 and 88.

I react to these numbers with hopefulness and optimism because it suggests to me that we are doing a better job of detecting autism occurrences.

I do not believe we are seeing an “epidemic” or an increase in prevalence of autism. As reported in Time, in 2009 England’s National Health Service found roughly one in 100 adults are on the autism spectrum. The article can be read at,8816,1927415,00.html.

I grew up with an undiagnosed “invisible” disability and, as a result, I had no explanation for why I absolutely did not fit in. It was a relief for me to learn in adulthood that there was a reason for my differences: for the abilities as well as the challenges.

Improved detection means that fewer children will grow up with their characteristics unrecognized. Pediatrics explains the methodology behind the CDC’s new estimates at It links to the CDC news release at

Notable week for autism
The CDC numbers stand out during a week that was notable for news about autism. Here are some additional highlights:

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