The CDC's estimate that as many as 1 in 68 8-year-olds in the U.S. has autism is based on medical and education records alone, according to an editorial published in the journal Autism. Without conducting direct assessments on a single child, "we will not know the extent to which the CDC-determined 'cases' include false positives, or the extent to which children who it was determined do not have autism are really false negatives," the authors said. Wide variances in rates from state to state should also indicate issues with the data, the authors said.

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