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Autism Rates

The rate of autism has skyrocketed ten-fold in the last two decades. Researchers now estimate that one in every 166 children has some sort of Autism Spectrum Disorder. A study in this month?s issue of Pediatrics documents the rise in autism. It finds a particular jump in kids born between 1987 and 1992. UAB professor Russell Kirby studies autistic kids in Alabama. In the latest installment in our year-long mental health project, WBHM?s Tanya Ott asked Kirby whether the jump in autism rates is because there are more autistic kids ? or because doctors are getting better at recognizing the symptoms.

Listen Now Listen to the on-air interview

Listen Now Listen to the extended interview

-- Tanya Ott, March 9, 2005

Editor's note: This is the latest story in a year-long commitment to covering mental health issues in Alabama. You can learn more about our "Making Sense of Mental Health" project and find local mental health resources -- as our commitment continues throughout the year -- inside this website.

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Making Sense of Mental Health

Autism Society of Alabama

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program - has downloads for the booklets "Special Education in Alabama" and "The ABC's of IEP's"

Autism Speaks, which is working to develop a central database of 10,000+ children with autism