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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 and


  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
  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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Date last reviewed: 4/6/2006


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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