Autism diagnosis on the rise

April 04, 2012

A recent survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows autism diagnosis has risen by 80 percent in the past year. Two experts discuss diagnosing on the autism spectrum, therapies to improve quality of life, and answer listener questions.

Dr Bryan Davey is the director of Behavioral Services for the Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life skills, or ACCEL. Lynn Balter is the mother of an autistic child and a member of the board of directors of the Southwest Autism Research and Recourse Center, or SARRC.

Davey says that doctors are getting better at diagnosing and assessing children with autism spectrum disorder, which may explain part of the study. Balter says it’s important to get a child diagnosed correctly so that they can better understand why they feel and function the way they do. Davey and Balter both agree that proper diagnosis can lead a child to therapies that can help them reach a higher level of social interaction. They hope that society can move on from preconceived notions and work towards a better understand of what causes autism.