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Why Have Autism Rates In Israel Tripled In 10 Years?

Autism diagnoses in Israel have tripled in the past 10 years, but the spike is likely due to better tracking of autism symptoms, according to a Welfare Ministry report released Sunday.

The report, which was released on World Autism Day, showed that in 2016 there were 14,269 Israelis diagnosed with autism, up from 3,949 in 2007, reported the Times of Israel.

In 2007, about 5.5. people out of 10,000 had autism diagnoses and in 2016 that number rose to about 16.9 per 10,000.

The ministry said that the increased figures match other countries’ data.

Welfare Minister Haim Katz said that Israel has committed resources to treating autistic Israelis.

“In the past two years I have doubled the budgets for autistic people and we have dramatically improved the quality of treatment for that population,” he said.

Israeli scientists are conducting the first ever clinical study of marijuana to treat symptoms associated with autism.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com

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