As more autism reported, doctors say check early - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

As more autism reported, doctors say check early

By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - More kids are being diagnosed as autistic - including surge in Hispanic children - according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency says about 1 in 88 children has the disorder. The latest numbers are based on 2008 data from 14 states and suggest that autism rates have climbed 23% since 2006. Rates are highest in boys and white children.

But the biggest rate increase was among Hispanics, from 1 in 270 in 2002 to about 1 in 125 in 2008.

Experts, including CDC researchers, think broader screening and better diagnosis have largely contributed to that. But autism's cause remains a mystery, and government researchers are seeking answers.

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