May 11, 2011
Autism may be more prevalent than once thought.
A South Korean study estimates one in 38 children in the country has an autism spectrum disorder.
Current estimates of autism cases in the U.S. put the number at about one in 110 children -- or less then one percent.
Experts say those numbers may be underestimated since they rely on info about children already diagnosed with the disorder.
This new study used a more population-based approach looking for autism among all children, including those in mainstream schools.
Researchers believe using a similar approach in the U.S. would also spot more kids with this condition.
Study authors stress their findings do not prove that more children are developing autism.
They say the findings mean these cases have been here all along and were not counted in previous studies.
The study appears online in the 'American Journal of Psychiatry.'