New study suggests autism rates could be leveling off

- FILE - Autism gene map (WTNH / Jocelyn Maminta)

(ABC) – Autism in the headlines has been stoking fear in parents’ hearts for years now, and often with false or misleading messages, such as how it may be linked to vaccines or to bad parenting. But now, some potentially good news for the new year.

Autism numbers appear to have stabilized. Autism rates rose steadily until 2012, but this week, a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds, that the rates may finally be leveling off.

Researchers at the University Of Iowa saying about two percent of American children have autism. This number has been stable over three years, without any significant increase in rates of the condition.

Autism is usually diagnosed in childhood. Kids may have difficulty communicating with others or understanding emotions, but therapies exist that show promise in dealing with these issues.

So if you are concerned your child might have autism, talk to your pediatrician. They can help.

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