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Notice to Readers: Autism Awareness Month --- April 2006

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterized by unusual social and communication development and the presence of unusual or repetitive behaviors and interests (1). These conditions affect an estimated 2--6 per 1,000 children (2), making autism a serious public health concern. Early identification and intervention can help children progress in their development and show improvements in their language, cognitive, social, motor, and other developmental skills (3).

April is Autism Awareness Month. In collaboration with partners, CDC is conducting a public awareness campaign to educate health-care and child-care providers regarding potential early warning signs of autism and other developmental disabilities. Additional information about autism and the CDC campaign are available at http://www.cdc.gov/autism and http://www.cdc.gov/actearly.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. Criteria for the pervasive developmental disorders. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, text revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
  2. CDC. How common are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)? Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; 2005. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/asd_common.htm.
  3. National Research Council's Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism. Educating children with autism. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2001.

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References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

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Date last reviewed: 4/6/2006

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