Autism Cases Increase by 8% Among Calif. Public School Students
The number of California public school students who have been diagnosed with autism increased by 8% from 2013 to 2014, bringing the total number of diagnosed children in the state to nearly 79,000, according to data from the state Department of Education, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Details of Report
Over the past decade, the number of autism cases among California students has increased by about 5,000 to 7,000 cases annually, according to the Bee. There were only about 14,000 California public school students diagnosed with autism in 2001.
The report also provided county-level data on autism cases. For example, the number of autistic students in Sacramento increased by about 10% from 2013 to 2014, with the disorder affecting more than one in every 80 students.
According to the Bee, potential reasons for the increase in autism cases include:
- Improved screening for the disorder;
- Broader definitions of the disorder; and
- An increase in the prevalence of autism, possibly caused by environmental factors (Sacramento Bee, 4/16).