Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Jersey Autism Statistics

When comparing the number of cases of Autism in New Jersey with the rest of the country, New Jersey shows as having the highest amount of cases nationally. The CDC has released statistics that say one in every one hundred and fifty kids is on the spectrum nationwide. The garden state boasts a much higher number with one in ninety-four. That number appears to show that there are many more kids who have spectrum disorders in the state, but that may not be quite accurate. Experts feel that it simply signifies the amount of early diagnosis that takes place.

Currently, about 87,000 people are estimated to have a form of autism in New Jersey. This number places the state higher than any other when it comes to cases being reported. That does not mean the state actually has more children who suffer from the condition. Instead it stands at the forefront of being able to accurately find and diagnose those children. Simply put, the state is ahead of the nation in regards to autism identification.

There are many variations of the disorder that fall into the spectrum. They can range from mild occurrences to quite severe. The symptoms of each tend to be similar. They can include everything from social and communication impairment, developmental delays and even sensory issues and compulsive behaviors. Many children are diagnosed during their school years. The average age of discovery nationwide is eight years old. It is different in New Jersey. Children are typically diagnosed sometime near four years old.

An early diagnosis helps lead the state into early treatment options. An autistic person will likely require many treatments for their varied problems in a lifetime. The result of the treatments is the ability to manage their problems and live a successful life in spite of their differences. Being able to begin these treatments when the child is younger will prove more successful.

Autistic children generally struggle in school and need special accommodations. That is one other way the state has higher numbers than the national average. Ninety-seven percent of students receive special education services in New Jersey. This number is larger in comparison to the national average of students who receive help at school. Many of these students might struggle and fail without the assistance they receive.

If one were to only look at the numbers available they would easily believe that the state seemed to have more autistic children than the rest of the nation. It might lead to the speculation of risk factors among residents that do not exist elsewhere. That is not necessarily the case. Instead, it is indicative of the frequent ability to diagnose the condition compared to other states.

Anyone who might encounter a child on the spectrum professionally is trained in how to spot the signs and how to handle the child. It is not uncommon for a child to be incorrectly diagnosed for many years. New Jersey sees it less often because there is more knowledge about the neurological disorder available. Because of this it is possible to have the child diagnosed and in treatment long before they even begin school.

It is a fact that the rate of diagnosis is climbing nationwide over past years. There are many who believe in specific causes of the changed. Some simply feel the spectrum now allows many that fell into a broader variety of symptoms to now be considered autistic. No matter what a person believes to be the reasoning, a look at the statistics will show that there is a high rate of autism in New Jersey.

Mark Bree writes articles about Autism for The NJ Center For Autism, a New Jersey Autism resource that specializes in the ABA program. Their website is

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