Higher autism rates due to more diagnose data being collected

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – The CDC reports that 1 in 44 children have autism based on a report in 2018. It’s hard to say if this data applies to North Dakota.

In 2016, The North Dakota Department of Health started collecting statistics on how many people were being diagnosed with autism. Due to COVID, information wasn’t collected. This makes it difficult to say if there is a large increase in autism here or if it’s just because more people are receiving the correct diagnosis.

“We’re seeing more and more individuals being diagnosed with autism, or just getting more reporters reporting those individuals to the database, it’s hard to say,” said The North Dakota Department of Health director of data management Kodi Pinks.

The NDDOH hopes to have more data in the future regarding autism numbers and tracking the diagnosis. So far in North Dakota, 1,652 people have been diagnosed with autism, and this was last updated in July 2022.

Pinks said this number is grossly underrepresented, and the goal of the DOH hopes to have more data within the next year to make the number more accurate.

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