REPORT: ‘Profound autism’ makes up 1 in 4 cases: CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is adopting a new classification of autism that will help further make a distinction between the more and less severe ends of the spectrum.

A study by the CDC published in the Public Health Reports journal found that 26.7% of kids with autism have “profound autism.”

Children with “profound autism” are on the more severe end of the spectrum, meaning that they are nonverbal, minimally verbal or have an IQ of less than 50. The study found that those with “profound autism” were more likely to be girls, come from a lower socioeconomic household, or be from minority racial and ethnic groups.

Judith Ursitti who is the president of the Profound Autism Alliance, said the following in a release:

“People with profound autism consistently experience unique, devastating, and often unseen challenges that require immediate solutions, not only for them, but for their caregivers. The continuing recognition of profound autism will open the doors to more inclusive research like the CDC’s. Only then can targeted advocacy increase access to critically needed supports and services for this marginalized population.”

Data from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which analyzed 20,135 children with autism across 15 sites who were 8 years old between 2000 and 2016, showed that the prevalence of autism on all ends of the spectrum increased over time. But it is important to note that there was a more significant increase for those that presented a more mild case.

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