New numbers released by Centers for Disease Control reveal that the number of children who have been diagnosed with autism has nearly doubled since 2002. According to the CDC's latest report, one in 88 children in the United States has autism or a related disorder. It is not entirely clear what the large increase in autism diagnoses is due to. Meanwhile, doctors working to update the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are considering changing the definition of "autism." Those changes could greatly reduce the number of children considered autistic.
Susan Hyman, chairperson of the Autism Subcommittee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Associate Professor at the University of Rochester; Dr. Perri Klass, pediatrician and professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University; and Benedict Carey, science writer for our partner The New York Times, take a closer look at what's behind the numbers.