Updated: 03/27/2014 7:41 PM
Created: 03/27/2014 4:41 PM KAALtv.com
(ABC 6 News) -- One in 68 American children has Autism.
That's the sobering statistic in a new report out from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
In recent years, the definition of Autism has expanded and this new study suggests Autism is on the rise.
According to the study, among boys its 1 in 42, for girls its 1 in 189. The president for Autism Speaks, a national advocacy group, says sadly these numbers don't surprise her.
In fact, there has been a 29 percent increase in prevalence since the last study was conducted in 2008 and a 62 percent increase since 2006. Some advocacy groups say these figures may even be underestimated.
Doctors say symptoms usually appear by age two when assessing children based on their behavior, communication and social interactions. Leading to the question: is Autism becoming more common or more diagnosed?
"I'm afraid there's not going to be a simple answer, there's not a single
explanation," says Chief Science Officer Rob Ring with Autism Speaks.
"It's likely to be many different things," says Ring.
Experts say the increase in numbers may come from an increase in awareness as more families are acting on concerns and questions. However, doctors say early intervention is key.
Starting April 1, advocacy groups will launch a month of Autism awareness using PSA's.