Rutgers autism study

A new study out of Rutgers University has some interesting findings on children who were identified as having autism spectrum disorder with and without intellectual disabilities by age 8. The children all lived within the New Jersey-New York metropolitan region.

There are a handful of articles posted online about the study, including at (headline: Autism rates have tripled. Is it now more common or are we just better at diagnosis?); Disability Scoop (Study: Even With Fivefold Increase, Autism Likely Undercounted); and Spectrum (Racial, economic disparities skew New Jersey data on autism, intellectual disability).

Some key takeaways:

  • Autism rates tripled from 2000 to 2016, in keeping with national trends.
  • The number of children diagnosed with autism who don’t have intellectual disabilities rose fivefold, while the share of those who do was twofold.
  • Those “from affluent areas were 80% more likely than those from underserved areas to be flagged as having autism with no intellectual disability while Black children in this category were 30% less likely to be identified as compared to white kids,” writes Disability Scoop.

The goal of the study, published by the journal Pediatrics, is to help “classify ASD children with and without intellectual disability (ID) to aid etiological research, provide services, and inform evidence-based educational and health planning.”

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