Is there really an autism spectrum disorder epidemic?

Yes, by numbers. A recent report from the centers for disease control (cdc) estimated ASD at 1 in 88 live births, the highest estimate yet. This contrasts with estimates from 20 years ago of 5-10 in 10, 000. What is unclear is why this has changed so much. Some believe it mostly is because of changing definitions and increased recognition of the problem; others insist it is a true change. Time will tell.
No. There is an epidemic of renaming some disorders and including them under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder. Recently, Asperger's disorder, non verbal learning disability and many cases of mental retardation have been included.
More than Before. The definition of the disease has broadened over the years. Thus 1 reason for the increase.2.Better understanding of the disease has led to more more patients being diagnosed. And there may be more of it, but we are not sure why.

Related Questions

This there really an autism spectrum disorder epidemic, or are doctors just labeling people with that name?

No there is more. It is true that there is more recognition now than before, but you can't account for the increase just by more vigilant diagnosis. If you talk to older pediatricians and family doctors they will tell you they used to see maybe 2 or 3 kids with autism their whole time in training. Now it is estimated to be 1 out of 88 kids (1 out of 54 boys, and 1 out of 252 girls).
Autism. Is up 6000% in the last 20 years. It has increased from 1:150 to 1:60 (according to some statistics) and it affects boys 4:1 to girls. It is not the result of better diagnosing or improved reporting. It is a problem.
Complicated. The spectrum came about as a new umbrella that includes not only Autism, but Aspergers & Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified. The PDDNOS label was the "everything else" label. This was helpful to the kids, whose therapies were often similar, & schools would now receive consistent funding for their care. They were there, just not included in early numbers. There is also an increase.

What sort of problem is an autism spectrum disorder?

Autism. Autism is in news lately. It is a dysfunction of the ability of a person to relate to others. It is sometimes associated with slow learning but a less common form (asperger's) has a high rate of focused talent. The cause is unknown but seems to be a 'wiring" disorder of the brain. It is not related to vaccine use. This is a very frustrating illness for parents who want to have love returned.
Common. Pdd occurs in about 1% of the population. It occurs more in males, is definitely genetic, & may be associated with many environmental toxins (but not vaccinations). There is a remarkable amount of research going on in this field. The american academy of pediatircs has guidelines for the early identification & treatment of pdd kids. This approach has resulted inimprovements in pdd patients.
Autism part 2. Most autistic kids see material things rather than linguistic or interpersonal things. They see the world as a material, not verbal, environment. Treatment is directed trying to turn this around by early intervention. See nimh website on autism disorders. See your pediatrician for further intervention. See my health guides for more information.
Biologic disorder. What is now being called ASD is a cluster of disorders that have in common major disruption typically from a very early age in the development of social interactions, communication, and behaviors. The cause (s) remain unknown. The core feature is a markedly diminised to absent ability to socially connect with others. Language is absent or odd, as are some behaviors.

Is there any medication for autism spectrum disorder?

No, but individuals. With ASD have varied symtoms and medicaions may be useful intreating specific symtpoms, such as hyperactivity or anxiety or aggression with medicaions that are used with other primary disorders, such as anxiety disorder or ADHD. Consultation with a specialist is a medical center may be helpful.

Could any expert explain autism spectrum disorder? Thanks!

Why do you ask? You'll need to decide for yourself whether we need to medicalize / give special names to natural human variability. Perhaps the real question is, "How can we help a youngster / young adult who is perhaps shy, clumsy, socially awkward, better at strength / endurance sports than team / coordination sports, quiet, really good at science / math, narrow-focused to be HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL?

What are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder for adults?

Autism in adults. Adults have difficulty maintaining work or social relations ships as they cannot stay focused. Some jos that involve no interpersonal skills are greatly performed.

What are the differences between autism and autism spectrum disorder?

Shifting terminology. As of may 2013, new criteria will lump what had been separated disorders of autism, asperger's disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder into a single category of autism spectrum disorder. The key features remain the same, but there will be a range of severity of those symptoms.
The same deficits. In reciprocal social interaction caused by lack of joint attention, facial recognition & theory of mind underlie all types of autism. Autistic spectrum disorder is now the diagnosis that "lumps" autism, as & pdd-nos in the dsm-v. There was a misperception that the old diagnosis of as always implied superior cognitive skills. The dsm-iv required a "normal" iq (> 70), not necessarily avg. Or >.

Can high anxiety levels cause autism spectrum disorder?

No. High anxiety levels are probably the most common result of the irregularities that lead to the development of autism. The symptoms of autism are the adaptive strategies that result from information processing abn. It is the indiv attempt to deal with the environment with information processing that is not normal. Maybe the result of impaired detox abilities (controversy here).
NO. Severe anxiety does not cause asd. However, children with very severe anxiety disorders can be miss diagnosed as asd! Additionally, patient's with ASD can be very anxious!

What is asd (autism spectrum disorder) and how can it be treated?

Autism spectrum. Autism has many different ways of manifesting itself. The treatment depends on what p[roblems the pateint has. It is usually a multi pronged treatment approach.
Developmental. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in the first three years of life and very often in the first year. There is a wide range of dysfunction and this will dictate what services are needed. It is good to have a primary with knowledge of useful biomedical interventions who can help coordinate appropriate therapies like speech, occupational, physical and behavioral.
Aspergers. Watch these two shows for my most clear answer. Autism spectrum and aspergers in 8 mins. Http://youtu. Be/xg1ngp1ngds. Aspergers and the dsm5 http://youtu. Be/f5sfe6dqhro.

What are the common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in teens?

Multiple impairments. Autism is a disorder that involves qualitative impairment in several different realms including things such as impaired use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye to eye gaze, , failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level, lack of social reciprocity. Also impairments in communication, restricted repetitive behaviors, etc. Look to dsm4tr for more details.