A Note from the Director of NCBDDD
As you may know, CDC has been tracking autism for over a decade, and on March 29, 2012 we released the updated Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network estimates. The data indicated that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified with autism, a 78% increase since our first report.
We know people want answers to what’s causing this increase, and so do we. Some of the increase is due to the way children are identified and served in their local communities. To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research.
A growing body of research tells us that the earlier a child with autism is identified and connected to services, the more they benefit. CDC has tools to help families track their child’s development. We’ve posted them on our website, and we’re putting them in the hands of doctors, child care providers and parents.
The data release did not go unnoticed. In fact, it was widely covered in mainstream and social media. The release was a lead story in the 24 hours following the March 29 announcement and continued to garner coverage in the following days. The graphic to the right shows the extensive reach of the information through multiple vehicles.
Information dissemination through social media vehicles and other electronic means is steadily growing, and NCBDDD will continue to take advantage of social media outlets to disseminate information around autism research and other critical areas of focus.
Coleen Boyle, PhD, MS Hyg
Director, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NCBDDD Connects with the Community
NCBDDD will travel to Albany, New York for a community engagement field event. The center-wide event will be held August 22 -23, 2012 and will offer an opportunity to increase NCBDDD’s presence working with state and local health departments and within communities. Through this event, NCBDDD will review and share successes and accomplishments and identify challenges within our programs and projects as it relates to effecting positive change within the communities we serve. The center is grateful to the hosts and looks forward to other visits.
News from our Partners
AAP Releases Policy Statement on Sensory Integration Therapies for Children with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Complimentary and Integrative Medicine and Council on Children with Disabilities recently released a new policy statement in the June 2012 issue of Pediatrics: “Sensory Integration Therapies for Children with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders.” It states that sensory-based therapies are increasingly used by occupational therapists and sometimes by other types of therapists in treatment of children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Sensory-based therapies involve activities that are believed to organize the sensory system by providing vestibular, proprioceptive, auditory, and tactile inputs. Brushes, swings, balls, and other specially designed therapeutic or recreational equipment are used to provide these inputs. However, it is unclear whether children who present with sensory-based problems have an actual “disorder” of the sensory pathways of the brain or whether these deficits are characteristics associated with other developmental and behavioral disorders. Because there is no universally accepted framework for diagnosis, sensory processing disorder generally should not be diagnosed. Other developmental and behavioral disorders must always be considered, and a thorough evaluation should be completed. Difficulty tolerating or processing sensory information is a characteristic that may be seen in many developmental behavioral disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental coordination disorders, and childhood anxiety disorders. Occupational therapy with the use of sensory-based therapies may be acceptable as one of the components of a comprehensive treatment plan. However, parents should be informed that the amount of research regarding the effectiveness of sensory integration therapy is limited and inconclusive. Important roles for pediatricians and other clinicians may include discussing these limitations with parents, talking with families about a trial period of sensory integration therapy, and teaching families how to evaluate the effectiveness of a therapy.
Click here to see all policy documents from the AAP!
Resources, Tools, and Information available on CHPHC Website
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects and occur in almost 1% of births. The Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium (CHPHC) is a group of organizations uniting resources and efforts in public health activities with the mission to prevent the occurrence of congenital heart defects (CHD). The CHPHC also aims to enhance and prolong the lives of those with CHD through surveillance, population-based research, education, health promotion, advocacy, and policy development. The CHPHC website (www.chphc.org) provides resources, tools, and information while also raising awareness regarding the importance of a public health approach to addressing CHD issues through the lifespan.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
CHADD Annual International Conference on ADHD
November 8-10, 2012
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
San Francisco, CA
The Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) will hold its 24th Annual International Conference on ADHD, “25 Years of Making a Difference,” in San Francisco, California on November 8-10, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The annual Conference is the major research, practice and public information conference dedicated to issues related to ADHD. It brings together researchers, clinicians, educators, parents, other caregivers, and adults with ADHD. Click here to visit the conference website where you’ll find information on hotel and travel, registration, confirmed speakers, program at a glance, and much more. Please save the date for this exciting event!