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Autism Diagnoses Rise Among U.S. Children, CDC Finds

About 2 percent of American school children were diagnosed with autism disorders in 2011 and 2012, a 72 percent increase from the previous five years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current statistics were compared with the CDC’s 2007 report that found 1.16 percent of children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to their parents. Most of the increase was due to more diagnoses of milder autism disorders, the Atlanta-based agency said.