Is Autism Really on the Rise?

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Over the years, the numbers of children diagnosed with autism have steadily risen—from one in 110 to one in 88 to our current statistic, one in 68.

This rise has caused concern and alarm among the community. Some has gone so far as to call autism an “epidemic” (which is not only false but also incredibly hurtful to those who fall on the autism spectrum).

In any case, the rise has driven experts and the broader community to speculate on what could be causing it.

We have some ideas, but we aren’t entirely sure at this point.

Although there are several factors that may explain the rise in numbers — such as an increased recognition and reportage of autism from parents and physicians — it isn’t clear whether it is simply diagnoses that are increasing, or if autism truly is becoming more prevalent.

In the video below, Susan Hyman, a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital at URMC, talks about the rise of autism diagnoses. Check out what she has to say!

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.