A Quarter Of Teens With Autism May Be Undiagnosed

Many teens who qualify for an autism diagnosis do not have one, according to a new study. (Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

Despite advances in autism diagnosis, one in four teens on the spectrum lack a formal diagnosis, researchers say.

In a study that analyzed the health and education records of 4,875 residents of four northern New Jersey counties who were 16 years old in 2014, researchers found that about 1 in 55 met criteria for autism. However, about a quarter of them were not diagnosed.

Most adolescents without a diagnosis had a milder level of impairment, according to recommendations recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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Researchers warn that these people are missing out on support that could be beneficial.

“We believe this is the largest study ever conducted on ASD in this age group, and we hope it will help schools, health care providers and others with information that leads to better understanding and services,” said Walter Zahorodny. , associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey. Faculty of Medicine and main author of the study.

The data was collected as part of surveillance efforts through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which routinely tracks prevalence in communities across the country.

Consistent with previous studies, the data showed that people with autism were more likely to be male, white, and from high-income families. Additionally, most adolescents with autism have one or more psychiatric conditions, most commonly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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