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Neurology Brain and Mental Performance Child Health

USA Autism Rate Up 15% Over 2 Years

2 years ago

4463  0
Posted on May 03, 2018, 10 p.m.

Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among 11 surveillance sites report as 1 in 59, researchers from John Hopkins say that racial and ethnic disparities are narrowing, as published in the CDC Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Report.  

A CDC report shows that there has been a 15% increase over the past 2 years in the prevalence of autism, marking the highest rate since the CDC began tracking ASD in 2000. Boys are 4 times more likely to be identified, with the rate being 1 in 38 boys, and 1 in 152 girls.

Autism spectrum disorder is typically characterized by communication and social impairments, paired with repetitive behaviors and limited interests. Early diagnosis and interventions are important to improve skills and learning. ASD rates have been on the rise since the 1960s. Factors which may be contributing are screenings, increased awareness, diagnostic services, treatment and intervention services, and in general better documentation of behaviors and changes in diagnostic criteria.

Data was collected from 11 ADDM monitoring sites by the CDC to make the report, which is the sixth report estimating ASD rates within the USA. Previous reports estimated rates of autism spectrum disorder prevalence rates in the USA as:

  • 2016 reported 1 in 68 for 2012 data
  • 2014 reported 1 in 68 for 2010 data
  • 2012 reported 1 in 88 for 2008 data
  • 2009 reported 1 in 110 for 2006 data
  • 2007 reported 1 in 150 for the 2002 and 2000 data

Overall prevalence rates have more than doubled since the report was first published in 2007. Disparities are continued to be observed between ethnic and racial groups, but that gap is closing according to Dr. Li-Ching Lee, Phd, Scm. ASD prevalence once was 20-30% higher among white children in previous reports, in the current report the gap has dropped to 7%. Approximately 70% of children with ASD had average, above average, or borderline intellectual ability which is a full proportion higher than data found prior to 2012. Likelihood of boys being diagnosed remains the same. In Maryland prevalence was higher than the rest of the network at 1 in 50; with 1 in 31 boys and 1 in 139 girls.

Causes of ASD are not fully understood, with studies showing environment and genetics possibly both playing roles. CDC recommends tracking children’s development and respond quickly to get screening if a concern develops. Free checklist and information on autism spectrum disorder can be found at :

For a full copy of the report:

Individual state statistics:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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