(Reuters) - About one in 88 children in the United States has autism or a related disorder, the highest estimate to date, U.S. health experts said on Thursday.

The estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represents an increase of 25 percent since the last analysis, in 2006, and double the reported rate in 2002.

Advocates for people with autism seized on the apparent spike in the prevalence of the disease to call for more research to identify its causes and more services for people affected by it.

(Editing by Michele Gershberg and Vicki Allen)