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Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Spike or an Epidemic?

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study reporting a sharp increase in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children up to 8-years-old has set off controversy over what the spike really means.

The study examined school records of more than 300,000 children in the U.S. and is based on 2008 figures. Its findings suggest to some researchers that increased awareness of (ASD), as a result of efforts by the CDC and other organizations might account for the increase.  Some advocacy organizations maintain that the numbers reflect an “epidemic” of ASD.

In this video, developmental pediatrician Lisa Shulman, M.D., discusses the study and shares her thoughts with Einstein’s Paul Moniz about how parents should interpret the news. Dr. Shulman is associate professor of Pediatrics at Einstein and director of Infant and Toddler Services and the RELATE program at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, as well as an attending physician at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.

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