A Snapshot of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Missouri

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Findings from the Missouri Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (MO-ADDM) program help us to understand more about the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the characteristics of those children, and the age at which they are first evaluated and diagnosed.

missouri site tracking area
1 in 60

Or 1.7% of 8-year-old children were identified with ASD by MO-ADDM in 2018

bar chart showing prevalence of ASD in Missouri

This percentage is lower than the average percentage identified with ASD (2.3%) in all communities in the United States where CDC tracked ASD among 8-year-olds in 2018.

Among 8-year-olds

No significant differences in ASD prevalence were found between White, Black, and Asian or Pacific Islander children

Bar chart showing No significant differences in ASD prevalence prevalence were found between White, Black, and Asian or Pacific Islander children

Values indicate prevalence per 1,000 children.

8-year-old boys

Were 3x as likely to be identified with ASD as girls

Icons showing 3x

By 3 years of age

41% of children with ASD had a comprehensive developmental evaluation

Bar chart showing 41 percent

Children who were born in 2014 (1.2%) were 1.6x as likely to receive an ASD diagnosis or ASD special education classification by 48 months of age compared to children born in 2010 (0.7%)

Children who were born in 2014 (1.2%) were 1.6x as likely to receive an ASD diagnosis or ASD

Values indicate prevalence per 1,000 children.

What are the key take-away messages?
  • ASD prevalence was similar for White and Black children, suggesting previously reported racial disparities in ASD identification continue to diminish.
  • Despite diminishing disparities in identification across the ADDM Network, Black children were more likely to have ASD and ID compared to White children.
  • Although there was no relationship between neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES) and ASD prevalence among 8-year-old children, higher SES was associated with higher ASD prevalence among 4-year-old children in MO-ADDM.
How can this information be useful?

The MO-ADDM Project’s latest findings can be used to:

  • Plan for ASD services and training.
  • Promote early identification and service initiation.
  • Guide future ASD research.
  • Inform policies promoting improved outcomes in health care and education for individuals with ASD.

Partners in Missouri should continue to consider new ways to lower the age of first evaluation and diagnosis by community providers; this action will improve access to interventions and services to benefit children and their families.

How and where was this information collected?

MO-ADDM uses a record review method. Specifically, this information is based on the analysis of data collected from the health and special education records of children who were 4 years old and 8 years old and living in 1 of 5 counties in Missouri in 2018.

Tracking area
Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, St. Louis City counties

8-year-old children in tracking area: 24,481

  • 66% White
  • 25% Black
  • 5% Hispanic
  • 4% Asian or Pacific Islander
  • <1% American Indian or Alaska Native

4-year-old children in tracking area: 24,521

  • 65% White
  • 26% Black
  • 5% Hispanic
  • 4% Asian or Pacific Islander
  • <1% American Indian or Alaska Native

* Estimates may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

What else does MO-ADDM do besides provide estimates of ASD?

MO-ADDM investigators at Washington University in St. Louis collaborates with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and community partners to track the number and characteristics of 8-year-olds and 4-year-olds with ASD. In addition, MO-ADDM conducts various ASD-related public health, research, and clinical activities to inform various partners (such as clinicians, educators, and families) on the latest scientific developments, best practices for early intervention, and clinical care for children with ASD.

Resources

“The ADDM Network data is a vital tool that can be used by physicians and other providers to monitor our progress towards ensuring that we are identifying all children with ASD as early as possible and connecting families with appropriate services.”

– PAUL S. SIMONS, MD
Specialist in Developmental
and Behavioral Pediatrics,
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine

DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION’S OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
573-751-5739
dese.mo.gov/special-educationexternal icon

DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH’S DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
dmh.mo.gov/dd/external icon

FIRST STEPS
1-866-583-2392
www.mofirststeps.com/external icon

MISSOURI FAMILIES FOR EFFECTIVE AUTISM TREATMENT
877-275-8988
www.mo-feat.org/external icon

NAVIGATING AUTISM SERVICES
dmh.mo.gov/media/pdf/navigating-autism-services-community-guide-missouriexternal icon

CDC’S LEARN THE SIGNS.
ACT EARLY.
Alicia Curran
Missouri’s Act Early Ambassador
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/ambassadors-list.html

CONNECT WITH MO-ADDM
Robert Fitzgerald, PhD, MPH
Washington University in St. Louis
314-286-0151
fitzgeraldr@wustl.edu