The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced the new prevalence numbers for children diagnosed with autism.  Now 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls) receive an autism diagnosis.

Autism Speaks, an advocacy and research funding agency, says the figures means that the U.S. needs to take fast action to help families and children on the spectrum, and invest in the kind of research that will help better explain why the numbers are rising so rapidly.  “Clearly, we have a national emergency and clearly, we need a national plan,” said Mark Roithmayr, the group’s president. “It’s time for us as a nation to see these numbers for what they truly are, and for us as a nation to commit to doing much more than we’ve done for date.”

Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropology professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said he thinks the numbers still underestimate the problem. He conducted a study last year in South Korea that found an autism rate of 1 in 38 children there.

Thus, Mark Roithmayr states: “At 1 in 88, let me be clear, the United States is experiencing an autism epidemic. This is a national emergency. We need a national strategy.” So let’s do something about it and spread awareness.

Check out these websites to learn more about the new statistics: