FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show a significant jump in children with autism.
According to the CDC autism now affects one in 88 children in the United States.
“The number is high yet unfortunately that number is not the number of children that receive services because of the lack of funding,” says Melanie Fowler from Fort Worth.
The Fowler’s are one family who live with the statistic every day.
“After about 12 months William – his language was not developing typically,” explains Melanie “He was diagnosed by 2 and a half years old.”
The family quickly got William into the Child Study Center.
They had to first though overcome one hurdle after another with their insurance company.
“What I think we really need to focus on what are we going to do with all these children as they continue to grow. How will be educate them? How will we educate the public to handle these children,” says Seth Fowler.
The CDC also found that Autism is now five times more common in boys than girls affecting 1 in 54 boys compared to 1 in 252 girls.
“I do not take alarm with those numbers,” explains Dr. Joyce Mauk with the Child Study Center in Fort Worth which diagnoses and treats children with autism.
Dr. Mauk says the numbers have risen because the criteria for autism was broadened, but that will change next year.
“Some children who have had language disabilities now because of broadened diagnostic criteria will receive a diagnosis of autism. The criteria will change next year.”
Dr. Mauk says the good news is that more and more children are being diagnosed at an younger age.
That made a big difference for the Fowlers says Melanie, “William is now potty trained. He’s talking more. He is socializing more.”
The couple has written a book called “Look at My Eyes.”
It chronicles their experience with William and their insurance company and they hope it helps other families dealing with autism.
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