New ASD data from NHIS

CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics today issued a report on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence based on a survey of parents. That estimate – 1 in 45 children – is based on National Health Interview Survey data where parents were asked whether their child had ever been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder.  The report, “Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey,” is available here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr087.pdf

Reports such as this one from the National Health Interview Survey complement data from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ADDM) Network.  Together, surveys and the ADDM Network’s ongoing tracking system help provide a more complete picture of ASD in the United States.  While this report, based on parent experiences, can provide insight into the prevalence of ASD and other developmental disabilities, the ADDM Network further enriches our understanding by working with communities across the United States to collect information on specific characteristics of children with ASD and track changes in these communities and within different subgroups over time.

In March 2014, CDC’s ADDM Network estimated that 1 in 68 children had been identified with ASD.  These estimates from the ADDM Network are based on data collected from health and special education records of children living in 11 areas of the United States during 2010.  CDC will continue to update ASD prevalence based on findings from the ADDM Network.  The next ADDM ASD prevalence report is expected to be published in spring 2016.

For more information about CDC’s autism activities, visit www.cdc.gov/autism.  For free resources and tools to help parents and professionals track every child’s early developmental milestones and to know how and when to take action on developmental delay, visit CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” at www.cdc.gov/actearly.

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