By Wayne Allen
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new autism numbers last week that state one in every 68 children living in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder. This number represents a 30 percent increase over previous estimates.
Jodie Walker, President of the Autism Project of Southern Ohio said she was not surprised by the numbers.
“We’ve (Autism Project of Southern Ohio) been posting for the last year it’s been one in every 50, so 16 kids here or there is not a big difference. Last year it was one in every 50 kids. How can they backtrack to where it’s now one in every 68,” Walker said. “I think the discrepancy lies in that some kids have slipped in between the cracks in being diagnosed. The diagnoses for autism is so wide and encompasses so many things.”
Walker said she did a program for an organization at Shawnee State University recently that was attended by roughly 100 people.
“As I talked to them I asked, ‘how many of you have a person with autism in your family.’ I think maybe eight or ten people raised their hands. Then I asked, how many do you know or are friends with someone that has autism, most of the room raised their hands,” Walker said.
She said Autism is something that’s far more prevalent than it ever used to be.
“The numbers have rose almost 600 percent over the last 20 years,” Walker said.
When asked if she sees the number of children being diagnosed with Autism increasing over the years as a trend, Walker said, “I think it’s more of a recognition of the diagnoses of Autism or the things that go with Autism.”
Walker said some upcoming activities for the Autism Project of Southern Ohio include ‘Light it up Blue’ at the Portsmouth McDonalds held April 2 and the groups annual walk for Autism will be held April 26 at Millbrook Park in New Boston.
For more information about the Autism Project of Southern Ohio visit them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT