New autism numbers released Thursday suggest more U.S. children are being diagnosed with the developmental condition and at younger ages.
In an analysis of 2018 data from nearly a dozen states, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among 8-year-olds, 1 in 44 had been diagnosed with autism. That rate compares with 1 in 54 identified with autism in 2016.
U.S. autism numbers have been on the rise for several years, but experts believe that reflects more awareness and wider availability of services to treat the condition rather than a true increase in the number of affected children.
A separate CDC report released Thursday said that children were 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism by age 4 in 2018 than in 2014.