By David W. Freeman
(CBS) Developmental disability is on the rise in the U.S. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of school-age children diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or another developmental disability rose by about 17 percent, a new study showed.
That means roughly 15 percent of kids – nearly 10 million – have such a disability.
The numbers were based on information collected from parents, who were asked whether their kids had been diagnosed with a variety of developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, seizures, stuttering or stammering, hearing loss, blindness, and learning disorders, as well as autism and ADHD.
Boys were twice as likely to have a developmental disability, according to the study, which was published in the June 2011 issue of Pediatrics . And except for autism, developmental disabilities were more common among children from low-income families.
“We don’t know for sure why the increase happened,” study author Sheree Boulet of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters . There is now a bigger emphasis on early treatment, she said, and greater awareness about the conditions among parents.