Autism cases on the rise in Virginia - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Autism cases on the rise in Virginia

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On Wednesday, people across the world, will take part in "Light It Up Blue" events. The goal is to light iconic landmarks lit up in support of World Autism Day. In Roanoke, residents plan to light the fountain blue.

Carrie Campbell said her son, Evan, was diagnosed when he was only two years old.

"He would flap when he was excited and he wouldn't make eye contact" said Campbell. "He wasn't meeting the developmental milestones at 18 months. He wasn't saying any words."

A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 1 in 68 children have some form of autism. Those numbers are a significant increase over the 1 and 88 children reported in 2012.

Samantha Mcfarland works with the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. In recent years, the agency has seen more families in need of service

"We get calls from families and school districts asking about placements, so there certainly appears to be a greater need" said McFarland

Staff at the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center said that their waiting list to help children affected by autism continues to grow.

WSLS 10 staff checked figures from Roanoke Valley and New River Valley schools. The number of autism cases reported in areas including Bedford County, Lynchburg City, Roanoke City and Roanoke county have increased, and in some cases doubled, from 2008 to 2013.

Experts believe the rise in cases are due to increased awareness about autism and early detection.

For more information about autism and the symptoms of autism

http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs

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