“What is telling is that the overall prevalence of developmental disabilities hasn’t increased,” saidJoyce Mauk, M.D., CEO and medical director of the Child Study Center. “Some of this is diagnostic substitution. Many more children with language disorders and some unusual features of behavior are now being diagnosed with autism.”
Dr. Mauk, who is board certified in pediatrics and neurodevelopmental pediatrics, said examiners are more likely to diagnose children with more subtle or mild symptoms of the autism spectrum than ever before because of the attention autism has gotten in recent years.
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