Ann Schinner is the field director for Autism Speaks in Cincinnati. Her son was diagnosed with autism 17 years ago.
"As you identify everybody, of course the numbers are going to be higher and higher," she said.
One area for improvement is early diagnosis. The CDC study found that most children showed signs of autism by age 3, but the median age for diagnoses is 4.5.
"The earlier you start, the better treatments, the better successes that you have," Schinner said.
With more children being diagnosed, the CDC identified Autism Spectrum Disorder as an urgent public health concern.
"Research is so important," Schinner said. "And the federal government spends less on research for autism than it does AIDS, cancer."
Autism Speaks is recommending that their research budget be doubled. Locally, Rookwood Pottery will replicate and sell one design with proceeds going to Autism Speaks. And the Autism Speaks Walk is scheduled for May 19 at Coney Island.