According to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, a new report is shedding light on the dramatic increase in the number of children being diagnosed with autism.

“The CDC released the numbers of autism being a diagnosis of one in 88 children being diagnosed. And one in 54 boys affected by that diagnosis,” said Francine Dimitriou, assistant director with the Center for Autism.

That is a 23% increase since the last time the report was done, which means autism is nearly twice as common as the CDC said it was only five years ago.

“We can attribute some of the increase due to we are getting better at diagnosing. We are identifying younger. We are identifying more mild- and high-functioning cases,” said Dr. Leslie Speer, a clinical psychologist with the Center for Autism.

“People are getting the word out about autism. So that pediatricians and doctors and psychologists are more aware about autism and the signs,” said Allison Benedict, assistant director with the Center for Autism.

The Center for Autism says the most important thing parents can do is act quickly whenever they have a concern about their child’s development.

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