Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Announcement: Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Day — April 2015

April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Day. These observances offer the opportunity to highlight the increasing number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the substantial burden on families and health, educational and other support services, as well as an opportunity to celebrate the unique perspectives of those living with ASD.

ASD is a developmental disability that can cause major social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and usually last throughout a person's life (1). The cause of most cases of ASD is unknown, and there is currently no cure. CDC's most recent surveillance data indicate that about one in 68 children has been identified with ASD (2), which represents an almost 30% increase since the previous estimate in 2012. CDC has been active in documenting changes in the number and characteristics of children with ASD over the past decade. However, there remains an urgent need to continue research into causes of and effective interventions for ASD (3) and help children living with ASD to achieve their potential.

CDC, working with its state and academic partners, is committed to tracking the changing number and characteristics of children with ASD, researching what puts children at greater risk for ASD, and promoting early identification of children with ASD.

Information about CDC's data on ASD is available at Information on CDC's study for understanding risk factors and causes of ASD is available at Resources to help parents, health care providers, and early childhood care and education providers track each child's development are available for download free of charge at


  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
  2. Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Surveillance Year 2010 principal investigators; CDC. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 sites, United States, 2010. MMWR Surveill Summ 2014;63(No. SS-2).
  3. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee strategic plan for autism spectrum disorder research—2013 update. Available at

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #