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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Breaking: CDC Report Finds Prevalence of Autism Increases

From Jim Gerl's Special Education Law Blog

By Jim Gerl, Esq.
April 27, 2018

One in 59 US children has autism, according to a report issued today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report, which was based on data from 2012.

Some excerpts from CDC Report:

Results
  • For 2014, the overall prevalence of ASD among the 11 ADDM sites was 16.8 per 1,000 (one in 59) children aged 8 years. Overall ASD prevalence estimates varied among sites, from 13.1–29.3 per 1,000 children aged 8 years. ASD prevalence estimates also varied by sex and race/ethnicity. Males were four times more likely than females to be identified with ASD. Prevalence estimates were higher for non-Hispanic white (henceforth, white) children compared with non-Hispanic black (henceforth, black) children, and both groups were more likely to be identified with ASD compared with Hispanic children.
  • Among the nine sites with sufficient data on intellectual ability, 31% of children with ASD were classified in the range of intellectual disability (intelligence quotient [IQ] <70 25="" 44="" 71="" above="" and="" average="" borderline="" had="" i.e.="" in="" iq="" range="" scores="" the="" to="" were="">85). The distribution of intellectual ability varied by sex and race/ethnicity. Although mention of developmental concerns by age 36 months was documented for 85% of children with ASD, only 42% had a comprehensive evaluation on record by age 36 months.
  • The median age of earliest known ASD diagnosis was 52 months and did not differ significantly by sex or race/ethnicity. For the targeted comparison of DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 results, the number and characteristics of children meeting the newly operationalized DSM-5 case definition for ASD were similar to those meeting the DSM-IV-TR case definition, with DSM-IV-TR case counts exceeding DSM-5 counts by less than 5% and approximately 86% overlap between the two case definitions (kappa = 0.85).

Interpretation
  • Findings from the ADDM Network, on the basis of 2014 data reported from 11 sites, provide updated population-based estimates of the prevalence of ASD among children aged 8 years in multiple communities in the United States. The overall ASD prevalence estimate of 16.8 per 1,000 children aged 8 years in 2014 is higher than previously reported estimates from the ADDM Network. Because the ADDM sites do not provide a representative sample of the entire United States, the combined prevalence estimates presented in this report cannot be generalized to all children aged 8 years in the United States.
  • Consistent with reports from previous ADDM surveillance years, findings from 2014 were marked by variation in ASD prevalence when stratified by geographic area, sex, and level of intellectual ability. Differences in prevalence estimates between black and white children have diminished in most sites, but remained notable for Hispanic children. For 2014, results from application of the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 case definitions were similar, overall and when stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, DSM-IV-TR diagnostic subtype, or level of intellectual ability.
  • Special Education Eligibility: Sites with access to education records collected information on the most recent eligibility categories under which children received special education services (Table 6). Among children with ASD who were receiving special education services in public schools during 2014, the proportion of children with a primary eligibility category of autism ranged from approximately 37% in Wisconsin to 80% in Tennessee. Most other sites noted approximately 60% to 75% of children with ASD having autism listed as their most recent primary special education eligibility category, the exceptions being Colorado (44%) and New Jersey (48%). Other common special education eligibilities included health or physical disability, speech and language impairment, specific learning disability, and a general developmental delay category that is used until age 9 years in many U.S. states.

You can review the entire CDC report here.

A CNN article concerning this report may be found here.

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