The increase is probably do to more awareness. Until ten years ago, there was no knowledge of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspergers Syndrome. Most of the kids, including my now thirteen year old son, were lumped with ADHD, and he certainly had more than that. Still, it's not easy to get high functioning auties diagnosed. Not all professionals keep up with the times. it's still often misdiagnosed and since early intervention is the best treatment, this is tragic. My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 11. NOBODY took our concerns seriously. Fortunately, we knew enough to insist on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) early interventions even without a bonafide diagnosis, and he got them, but we knew a bit about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Not all parents do, and, if the professionals don't know, they're in trouble. It's really a shame. This is not a psychiatric disorder, yet it is often mistaken as one (my son also had a bipolar diagnosis, also WRONG). The interventions/medications for ADHD and bipolar don't work without Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions. Even psychiatrists often miss Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Rant done :smile:
I agree with Midwest Mom. Awareness certainly has increased. My son was diagnosis way back at age 5 with ADD. But each professional that met him would say "This is beyond ADD", yet he wasn't diagnosis as Aspergers til he was almost 14yo. Fortunately, we had some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions in place, such as Social Skills. However, we probably would have had him in the public school system --where he would have gotten services-- if we had the diagnosis sooner. As it was, he was in a small Catholic school, which was supportive, but didn't have the resources and accomadations available in the public school.