Jaidyn Sullivan was only 18 months old when he was diagnosed with autism. His parents initially thought his hearing was impaired, but noticed he wouldn't engage them either.
Australian officials previously estimated that around one in 160 children suffered from autism.
Researchers from Melbourne's La Trobe University studied twenty thousand children as they grew to adulthood.
The Social Attention and Communication Study found that one in every 119 children had symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, La Trobe University, said, "So what we are finding from the SAC (Social Attention and Communication) Study is that one in one nineteen children are meeting criteria for an autism spectrum disorder at the age of two years and this data are in accordance with the data coming out of the U.K."
The reasons for global increases in autism are unclear.
A study in the U.S. is looking at environmental factors as a cause.
Doctors say that children who are diagnosed early have greater chances of living normal lives
(CCTV August 14, 2009)