Why Is The Prevalence Of Autism Increasing, And Is This Happening Just In The U.S. Or Worldwide?

Dr. Alessandri answers the question: 'Why Are Autism Diagnoses Increasing?'

ByABC News
October 15, 2008, 10:23 AM

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Why is the prevalence of autism increasing, and is this happening just in the U.S. or worldwide?

Answer: There, indeed, have been reports of increasing rates of autism both in the United States and worldwide. The question of whether or not these prevalence estimates are real or an artifact of changing diagnostic criteria, better diagnosis, earlier identification or some other factor remains unresolved.

There are large-scale epidemiological studies ongoing at the moment both in the United States and abroad, and only those studies will be able to answer definitively whether the prevalence increases are indeed real or an artifact of these other factors.