April 06, 2016

New CDC Report on Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder: No Increase Since 2014


New CDC Report on Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder: No Increase Since 2014

In the April 1, 2016,  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary, the CDC published a report from the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, which found that about 1 in 68 school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This prevalence is the same as that found in the previous report released in 2014. Estimated prevalence was significantly higher among boys aged 8 years (23.6 per 1,000) than among girls aged 8 years (5.3 per 1,000). The estimated prevalence was also significantly higher among non-Hispanic white children aged 8 years (15.5 per 1,000) compared with non-Hispanic black children (13.2 per 1,000), and Hispanic (10.1 per 1,000) children aged 8 years.

In a relation to the new data, the CDC offered the following "Five Important Facts to Know":

  1. The estimated percentage of children with ASD remains high.
  2. It is too soon to tell if the percentage of children identified with ASD is still increasing or has stabilized.
  3. Children identified with ASD are not receiving comprehensive developmental evaluations as early as they could be.
  4. Black and Hispanic children are less likely to be identified with ASD. Those that are identified with ASD receive comprehensive developmental evaluations later than white children who are identified with ASD.
  5. Schools play a vital role in evaluating and serving children with ASD.

Additional information from the CDC (including links to resources) is available here. A short infographic/fact sheet can be found here: ADDM Key Findings (PDF). See also this article from Disability Scoop.

In reaction to the new autism data, the Administration for Community Living blog posted this article, New CDC Autism Data Highlights Importance of Long-term Services and Supports, Cultural Competency, which includes links to numerous resources.