Autism rates on the rise: what experts believe is behind the spike

There is still no known single cause, and no cure for autism spectrum disorder. But surprising news today from the CDC that the number of cases diagnosed continues to soar.

"No parent wants to hear your child has autism, but you can't be afraid of the "a" word," says Kim Cristo, whose daughter was diagnosed with autism.

"Physicians, health care providers, educators, are clearly getting better at um identifying autism as well as the case definition, you know 'what is autism?' is really evolving," says Dr. Coleen Boyle with the CDC.

Specifically, since boys are more often affected than girls, the CDC says the diagnosis today comes to 1 in 42 boys, and 1 in 89 girls.

Nobody knows what's behind the increase. Experts say most kids are diagnosed after age 4, although, it is better for the child if they can be identified earlier, hopefully by age 2.

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