Study: Number of diagnosed autism cases on the rise in NJ

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

A new study has found that the number of children diagnosed with autism in New Jersey is rapidly climbing.

The study by Rutgers University and the Centers for Disease Control found that cases of autism rose 19 percent in the past few years. The study also found that 3 percent of the state’s childhood population have been diagnosed with the condition.

“Many kids with autism aren’t diagnosed until the age of 4 and we’ve missed all those critical years of early intervention services,” says ARC of New Jersey executive director Thomas Buffuto.

The study was not able to say why the cases of autism rose in New Jersey.

Students in Paterson participated in a walk Thursday to raise awareness and understanding about the condition.

“Be open, be flexible with these children…it’s just really important to show support,” says special education teacher Amanda Atieh.

The study looked at a sample pool of 8 -year-olds in four New Jersey counties and examined education and medical records.

New Jersey has the nation's highest rate of diagnosed autism cases.

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