The video and presentation slides including Beyond the Data from the April session of CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds, “Autism Spectrum Disorder: From Numbers to Know-How,” held on Tuesday, April 22 are now available at http://www.cdc.gov/about/grand-rounds/archives/2014/April2014.htm.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Surveillance studies indicate a substantial increase in diagnosed ASD. Just-published CDC data shows an estimated prevalence of 1 in 68 children affected by an autism spectrum disorder. ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, and is almost five times more common among boys than girls. Tracking and diagnosing ASD can be difficult, since there is no single biological marker, and diagnostic criteria have changed recently. Although signs may appear early in life, many children with ASD do not receive a final diagnosis until they are over the age of four. This delay means that children with ASD and their families might not get the help they need during critical periods of development.