ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. But is almost five times more common among boys than among girls. CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism Impact.
More people than ever before are being diagnosed with ASD. It is unclear exactly how much of this increase is due to a broader definition of ASD and better efforts in diagnosis. Autism Impact. However, a true increase in the number of people with an ASD cannot be ruled out. We believe the increase in ASD diagnosis is likely due to a combination of these factors.
For over a decade, CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network has been estimating the number of children with ASD in the United States. We have learned a lot about how many U. S. children have ASD. It will be important to use the same methods to track how the number of children with ASD is changing over time in order to learn more about the disorder.
Research (Autism Impact)
There is still a lot to learn about ASD. Autism Impact. Research on ASD has increased a great deal in recent years and CDC is part of the larger group of public and private organizations working to better understand ASD through research. Like the many families living with ASD, CDC considers ASD an important public health concern. CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASD. Search for risk factors and causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASD as early as possible.
Recent efforts to coordinate autism research are reflected in the “Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research” by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
See also: “What is Autism?“
Determining How Many People Have ASD
More people than ever before are being diagnosed with ASD. It is unclear how much of this increase is due to a broader definition of ASD and better efforts in diagnosis. However, a true increase in the number of people with an ASD cannot be ruled out. The increase in ASD diagnosis is likely due to a combination of these factors.
Autism Impact. By studying the number of children with ASD at different points in time. CDC can find out if the number is rising, dropping, or staying the same. We also can compare the number of children with ASD in different areas of the country and among different groups of people. This information can help direct our research into potential factors that might put children at risk for ASD. And can help communities direct their outreach efforts to those who need it most.
Following are activities that CDC conducts or funds in order to learn more about the number of people with ASD:
Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network
The ADDM Network is a group of programs funded by CDC to estimate the number of children with ASD and other developmental disabilities living in different areas of the United States. The ADDM Network sites all collect data using the same surveillance methods, which are modeled after CDC’s Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (MADDSP).
CDC estimates that 1 in 68 children were identified with an ASD. This data comes from the ADDM Network, which estimated the number of 8-year-old children with ASD living in 11 communities throughout the United States in 2010.