Medford, Ore. -- New numbers from the Center for Disease Control show an increase in autism spectrum disorder in children.
According to the CDC one in 68 U.S. children has autism compared to one in 88 just two years ago.
Experts say the 30 percent increase is partially due to the growing amount of information on the disorder. Executive Director at Families for Community, a nonprofit that supports families of kids with disabilities, Kimberly Larsen said she isn't surprised.
"There's been a lot of dissemination of information for physicians and people who are front line and not only diagnose but are a part of the evaluation process for children receiving autism services," Larsen said.
The new research leads to increased awareness of symptoms and aids in diagnosing children. When asked about other factors contributing to the new statistic Larsen said it's up in the air.
"The jury's still out on exactly whether it's related to immunizations or if it's genetic or diet related," she said.
In the study the CDC evaluated health and educational records of eight year-old children in 11 states. The evaluation included 5,300 children total.
Larsen's son, Nels, is one of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. children with autism. And the rising numbers, she said, isn't something parents should be concerned about.
"The autism eligibility is not the end of the world," Larsen said.
She said the disorder doesn't define her son or any other child, and that there are numerous resources available once a child is found eligible for autism service.
"Early intervention agencies are great resources for developmental information," Larsen said.
Since symptoms differ from child to child Larsen recommends keeping a log of your child's behavior. She also said the Swindle Center at Providence Hospital has books on the disorder and private resources for specific needs.