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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

New autism risk factor: Women abused as children more likely to have child with the disorder

The number of kids diagnosed with autism has continued to climb, and 2 percent of American children ages 6 to 17 have received the diagnosis, according to parent surveys collected in 2011 to 2012 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s quite a dramatic increase from the 1.2 percent of children reported in parent surveys conducted in 2007, and the CDC said the recent rise was greatest in boys and included cases that might previously have not been diagnosed.

“Those who were first diagnosed in or after 2008 were more likely to have milder autism spectrum disorder than those diagnosed in or before 2007,” wrote CDC officials in their report released on Wednesday.

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