World Autism Awareness Day: More needed.

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-02 18:35:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) On this World Autism Awareness Day, Richmond activist and mother of a child with autism, Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, says more still needs to be done.

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in March, revealed that one out of every 88 children is diagnosed with autism. Alspaugh-Jackson's group, ACT-Today, says that means there are more children diagnosed with autism than have juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer or pediatric AIDS combined.

The CDC says the numbers were impacted by better screening and better awareness in the medical community.

Speaking to CBS 6, Alspaugh-Jackson says the news is extremely alarming and calls it a "true epidemic".

Alspaugh-Jackson recommends speaking to your pediatrician right away if you think your child is autistic. Although, most children aren't diagnosed until age two, Alspaugh-Jackson says a good online reference is Autism Speaks. She says they print a list of signs that include: language that develops and goes away, tantrums and trouble pointing.