While devastating for severely afflicted children and their families, autism has long been assumed to be relatively uncommon, appearing in perhaps 1% of all kids. But that figure was a rough estimate at best, based largely on the population of children who have already received a diagnosis of the disorder.
Jean Piaget, the pioneering Swiss philosopher and psychologist, spent much of his professional life listening to children, watching children and poring over reports of researchers around the world who were doing the same. He found, to put it most succinctly, that children don’t think like grownups.
Sugar and spice and everything nice.
The young child known as the “balloon boy” appeared sickly on NBC’s “Today” show Friday morning. With his eyes adrift, 6-year-old Falcon Heene leaned his tiny head against his father before he vomited — right in front of the cameras.
A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics indicates about 1 percent of children ages 3 to 17 have autism or a related disorder, an increase over previous estimates.
Among the many mysteries that befuddle autism researchers: why the disorder affects boys four times more often than girls. But in new findings reported online today by the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers say they have found a genetic clue that may help explain the disparity.