Autism

CDC: One in 50 Schoolchildren in US Has Autism

Significant increase over last five years

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The number of children in the United States with autism spectrum disorder has jumped dramatically since 2007, federal health officials reported Wednesday.

As of 2012, one in 50 kids between the ages of 6 and 17 has some form of autism, compared with one in 88 only five years earlier, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This estimate was a bit surprising," said report author Stephen Blumberg, a senior scientist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "There may be more children with autism spectrum disorder than previously thought."