What’s behind the UK’s increase in autism diagnoses?

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From changes in identification to overdiagnosis, experts weigh potential factors in perceived rise in neurodiversity

Autism is a condition in a state of slow flux. In 2021, a study found a 787% rise in the number of diagnoses between 1998 and 2018 in the UK.

Increases in diagnoses have been a feature of autism for almost as long as it has been a recognised condition: 80 years ago, autism was thought to affect one in 2,500 children. That has gradually increased and now one in 36 children are believed to have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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