Prevalence / Incidence

As of 2013, the Center for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental disease Monitoring Network found that 1 in every 88 children born in the United States have autism. This makes autism one of the most common of the pervasive developmental disorders. ASD prevalence is 4 to 5 times higher for boys than for girls. One in 54 boys and one in 252 girls have an ASD. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is four times more likely to occur in boys than girls. This means that as many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism. Based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and other government agencies, autism is growing at an annual rate of 10% – 17%. The Autism Society of America estimates that there could be four million Americans with the disorder in the next decade.

The age that most children start showing symptoms of autism is between 18 and 24 months. Autism is consistent around the globe, but is four times more prevalent in males than females. Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, and family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism’s occurrence.

The cause of autism is still unknown although there have been numerous theories over the past decades, including: genetics, reactions to vaccines, toxins/pollution, and food allergies, to name a few. Scientists continue to do research to figure out the cause of autism.