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New Autism Findings

A new study finds 1 in 38 children have traits of autism. We’ll ask how that can be. And what it means.

In this January 2011 still photo taken from video, PBS newsman Robert MacNeil, right, plays with Nick, his 6-year-old grandson, at Nick's family's home in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)

In this January 2011 still photo taken from video, PBS newsman Robert MacNeil, right, plays with Nick, his 6-year-old grandson, at Nick's family's home in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)

Autism has had everyone’s attention for some years now.

There just seem to be so many kids with autism, and we wonder what’s going on. One in 100 or a 110, say U.S. officials, and that seems like a lot.

Now comes a new study — a big study, very credible, very deep — and it finds one in 38 kids with autism spectrum disorder. That is a truly arresting number.

But what does it mean? What’s behind the number? And what can be done about it?

This hour On Point: the lead author of the big new “1 in 38” autism finding.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Young Shin Kim is a professor at the Child Study Center at
Yale University School of Medicine and the lead author of the new study of autism. She’s a child psychiatrist and an epidemiologist who focuses on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disorders.

Lisa Croen, director of the Autism Research Program and senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. She is the principal investigator on two on-going federally-funded autism studies. She is also co-investigator on the California Autism Twins Study (CATS).


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