According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated autism rate has gone up 30 percent in two years.
Corey Weber, 13, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at four years old. His mom Chrissy knew something was wrong years prior.
"We were asking questions really, really starting around a year in a half, where he just wasn't talking," said Chrissy Weber. "The doctor kept reassuring us he's a boy. They talk later. They do these things later."
What she experienced is in line with a new study released Thursday by the CDC. In 2010, the CDC studied eight year olds in 11 states. It found that most children aren't diagnosed until age after four even though they can be diagnosed as early as two.
Boys are more likely to be identified with autism than girls--about one in every 42. The CDC came to the conclusion that about one in 68 children have autism. That stat is up 30 percent, from one in 88 two years prior.
"The numbers are stunning," said Weber. "I don't think as a society we're ready for those numbers to age out what's society going to do what are families going to do it's scary stuff."
Rebecca Donnell is one of Corey's behavioral analysts at the Autism Center of Round Rock.
"It's an eye opener to look around better to make sure we're educating the public as to what autism is," said Donnell.
She says signs of autism will be present in socialization, communication and play.
"They don't want to interact with mom or dad or brother or sister. The rule of thumb is two words by two years. They don't play with their toys in the way they are designed," she explained.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends children be screened for autism clues as early as nine months.
"We all know that early intervention is absolutely key," said Donnell.
The CDC says more doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially when it comes to minor cases. That may be a contributing factor for the increase in numbers, but experts can't rule out an actual increase in cases.
Chrissy has this advice for parents, "Educate yourself. Do everything you can to set your kids up to be healthy."
To view the full study, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsautismdata/