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Massachusetts Study Shows Sharp Rise in Early Autism Diagnoses
Date:5/18/2011

intervention helps, that's starting to have a public impact."

In 2001, white children were more likely to be diagnosed with autism than black or Hispanic children. However, by 2005, those disparities had largely disappeared, perhaps because of outreach efforts specifically targeted at minorities, Manning said.

Infants younger than 24 months of age whose mothers' primary language was not English or were foreign-born were less likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Boys were from four to five times more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder than girls, the researchers found.

"We're really trying to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and getting children into intensive services early," Manning said.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that's characterized by problems with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and restricted interests and behaviors.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on autism.

SOURCES: Susan Manning, M.D., career epidemiology field officer, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, Augusta, Maine; Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D., professor and chief, division of environmental and occupational health, department of public health sciences, and deputy director, Center for Children's Environmental Health MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders), University of California, Davis; Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., director, Center for Autism & Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; May 16, 2011, Pediatrics, online


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