These are some dramatic numbers: one in 50 American schoolchildren has autism, meaning at least 1 million children are affected by the disorder, according to a government survey of parents. Health officials cautioned that the numbers reflect that autism is diagnosed more frequently—especially since it is diagnosed not through blood tests but by psychiatrists—but not necessarily that it is occurring more often. The latest study by the Centers for Disease Control is considered more accurate than the earlier figure of one in 88 schoolchildren because this study cast a far wider outreach, although fewer than a quarter of parents contacted agreed to answer the questions.
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