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Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network

Photo: Child bouncing on large ballThe Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network is a group of programs funded by CDC to estimate the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities living in different areas of the United States. The ADDM Network sites all collect data using the same methods, which are modeled after CDC's Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (MADDSP).

ADDM Network goals are to:

  • Describe the population of children with ASD,
  • Compare how common ASD is in different areas of the country,
  • Identify changes in ASD occurrence over time, and
  • Understand the impact of ASD and related conditions in US communities.

ADDM Network fact sheet

What We’ve Learned

CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with ASD (or 14.7 per 1,000 8-year-olds). These estimates from the ADDM Network are based on data collected from health and special education records of children living in 11 communities across the United States during 2010. These 11 communities comprised over nine percent of the United States population of 8-year-olds in 2010. Information was collected on children who were 8 years old because previous work has shown that, by this age, most children with ASD have been identified for services.

In 2007, CDC's ADDM Network first reported that about 1 in 150 children had ASD (based on 2002 data from 14 communities). Then, in 2009, the ADDM Network reported that 1 in 110 children had ASD (based on 2006 data from 11 communities). And, in 2012, the ADDM Network reported that 1 in 88 children had ASD (based on 2008 data from 14 communities). This means that the estimated prevalence of ASD has increased roughly 29% since 2008, 64% since 2006, and 123% since 2002.

Map: ADDM States for 2010 - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin

Here are some other key findings from our most recent report:

  • The number of children identified with ASD varied widely by community, from 1 in 175 children in areas of Alabama to 1 in 45 children in areas of New Jersey.
  • Boys were almost 5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls. About 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls were identified with ASD.
  • White children were more likely to be identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children. About 1 in 63 white children, 1 in 81 black children, and 1 in 93 Hispanic children were identified with ASD.
  • Almost half (46%) of children identified with ASD had average or above average intellectual ability (IQ > 85).
  • Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.
  • On average, children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.
  • About 80% of children identified with ASD either had a special education eligibility for autism at school or had an ASD diagnosis from a clinician. This means that about 20% of children identified with ASD had documented symptoms of ASD in their records, but had not yet been classified as having ASD by a community professional.

Article: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2010
Read the Community Report on the 2010 ADDM Network findings

Article: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2008 »
Read the Community Report on the 2008 ADDM Network findings »

Current ADDM Network Activities

  • The ADDM Network is now in its 3rd phase of funding. Currently there are 12 ADDM Network sites monitoring the prevalence of ASD among 8-year-old children living in these communities during 2012.
  • CDC has also provided supplemental funding to six ADDM Network sites to monitor the prevalence of ASD among younger children (4-year-olds) using ADDM Network methods. These efforts will increase our understanding of the characteristics and early identification of younger children with ASD.
  • Some ADDM Network sites also track the prevalence of other developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, hearing loss, and vision impairment.

Current ADDM Network Sites Map, Surveillance Years 2010 and 2012

Read about the work taking place at each site by clicking one of the following links:

ADDM Fact Sheet

Previous ADDM Network Activities

The ADDM Network's first phase included funding for 14 sites. These sites include the current phase list above plus three additional sites. Read about the work at two of those former sites by clicking one of the following links:

ADDM Network Publications

View a list of ADDM publications. To find other publications related to ASD, visit our Articles page.

 

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