CDC Releases New Key Findings on Autism Spectrum Disorder

April 26, 2018

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For more than two decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been tracking the prevalence and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, through a multi-state tracking system focused on school-aged children. Data from the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM)* Network help us understand more about the number of children with ASD, the characteristics of those children, and the age at which they are first evaluated and diagnosed. These numbers are a snapshot in time that help us see important trends in the data, like whether kids are gaining access to critical early intervention and diagnostic services.

Findings from the newest report released on 4/26/18 indicate that about 1.7%, or 1 in 59, school-aged children in 2014 were identified with autism, based on data reported from 11 communities across the United States. Knowing how many children have autism is just part of the picture. We are also learning more about the characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder. These findings help us identify ways in which we have been successful in supporting children and families, and highlight areas where we need improvements.

It is important to note that this prevalence estimate represents a single point in time (2014) and is a combined estimate from 11 different communities in the US. ADDM is not a representative sample of the US, but an in-depth look at these 11 communities. These findings cannot be used to generalize autism prevalence in the US as a whole.

To read the report in it's entirety, visit

*The ADDM Network is a group of programs funded by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the only collaborative network to track the number and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in multiple communities in the United States.