CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network data show that the estimated number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise. The ADDM Network found that about 1 in 68 children were identified with ASD based on tracking across multiple areas of the United States. Some characteristics of children with ASD have remained the same—boys were almost 5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls; white children were still more likely to be identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children; and most children with ASD were diagnosed after age 4, even though ASD can be diagnosed as early as age 2. However, the picture of ASD in communities is also changing—almost half of children identified with ASD had average or above average intellectual ability. More is understood about ASD than ever before, but many important questions remain unanswered. We encourage stakeholders in communities across the country to use these data to raise awareness and take action to help children.

Author CDC