National Autism Monitoring to Include Preschoolers The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its national monitoring of autism spectrum disorders, adding preschoolers to its counts of school-age children. The surveillance will also focus on possible changes resulting from the 2013 overhaul of the criteria used to diagnose ASD, which now include a broader ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   March 01, 2015
National Autism Monitoring to Include Preschoolers
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2015
National Autism Monitoring to Include Preschoolers
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.20032015.10
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.20032015.10
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its national monitoring of autism spectrum disorders, adding preschoolers to its counts of school-age children.
The surveillance will also focus on possible changes resulting from the 2013 overhaul of the criteria used to diagnose ASD, which now include a broader range of conditions and severities.
The CDC has been monitoring ASD prevalence among the nation’s 8-year-olds since 2002, based on the presumption that most children are identified by this age. Autism, however, can be reliably diagnosed by age 2, and new monitoring is designed to produce the first clear estimate of ASD diagnosis and services among 4-year-olds.
The most recent data from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network—collected in 2010—suggest that ASD affects one in 68 children. Typically, the CDC releases new data on autism incidence every two years, with figures based on the 2012 data collection expected in 2016.
The new round of funding includes more than $20 million over four years to enhance tracking at eight sites and launch two new sites in its monitoring network. As in the past, the 10 sites will scrutinize medical and educational records for 8-year-old children in their area to determine how many fall on the autism spectrum. Six of the sites will also assess records for 4-year-olds.
The review will determine if each child would qualify for an autism diagnosis under the current criteria and under the somewhat different previous definition (see “Answers to Your DSM Questions,” April 2014).
In addition to tracking ASD rates, sites will research why its prevalence has increased dramatically over recent years.
The two new sites—one at Vanderbilt University and one at the University of Minnesota—join existing sites at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University in St. Louis.
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March 2015
Volume 20, Issue 3