DHDD Newsletter – May 2024

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A Note from the DHDD Director

Dear DHDD Partners,

As our division prepares to implement our FY2024–FY2028 strategic plan, we are guided by a shared vision, which is for people with disabilities and developmental concerns to achieve their optimal health and well-being. Although disabilities and developmental concerns are common, this population often faces unique challenges in attaining their optimal health, which is made clear from the disparities we see in the data. To achieve our vision we need to focus on populations rather than focusing solely on the individual. Policy, systems, and environmental or PSE changes focus on root causes and seek to create sustainable change by taking a population or systems-wide approach. PSE factors include physical and social contexts which can help make health improvements practical and available to people with disabilities and developmental concerns.

Karyl Rattay, MD, MS, FAAP DHDD Director

Dr. Karyl Rattay,
DHDD director

We have embedded PSE approaches throughout our strategic plan to strengthen our collective impact. Our strategies include enhancing the understanding of PSE factors on health and well-being while increasing capacity to implement PSE activities. In addition, DHDD promotes the adoption of PSE interventions that help achieve equitable outcomes for people with disabilities and developmental concerns.

To achieve these strategies, DHDD leads public health efforts through data and evidence-based decision making. As one example, this recent publication describes potential risk factors for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as PSE changes that may modify these risks to improve the health and well-being of people with ADHD. The findings highlight the importance of data to drive innovative solutions that improve outcomes.

As we continue our collaborations, PSE approaches will help us create sustainable, lasting change with and for the populations we serve. Together, we can identify, promote, and support impactful interventions that help every person achieve their optimal health and well-being.

With gratitude,

Karyl Rattay, MD, MS, FAAP
DHDD Director

In the Spotlight

ADHD Prevalence Among U.S. Children and Adolescents in 2022: Diagnosis, Severity, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Treatment

A new study from CDC shows that ADHD diagnosis in children aged 3-17 years is the highest it’s ever been, and the gap between ADHD diagnosis and treatment is wide—nearly 2 million kids are not receiving the treatment that could help them. Many children with ADHD also have other co-occurring conditions or concerns, such as behavioral conduct problems, anxiety, and learning disabilities. New data collected in 2022 from the National Survey on Children’s Health show that the estimated number of U.S. children aged 3-17 years with diagnosed ADHD increased from 2016 to 2022 by 1 million, and nearly 78% of children with ADHD have at least one other co-occurring condition such as a behavior or conduct problem (44.1%) or anxiety (39.1%). For more information on the latest ADHD data, please visit: Data and Statistics on ADHD | Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | CDC

CDC Offers Provider Trainings and Resources on ADHD and Other Co-Occurring Conditions

Girl balances a pencil between her fingers as she appears distracted while studying.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Many children with ADHD have other co-occurring conditions, such as behavior or conduct problems, learning disorders, Tourette syndrome (TS), anxiety and depression. Many other disorders or conditions can have symptoms that look like those of ADHD. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that every child diagnosed with ADHD be screened for other conditions as well.

CDC works with partners to better understand ADHD, TS, and other conditions to improve early identification of these conditions in childhood and to help improve the quality of life for those affected and their families.

Additional information and free provider trainings on ADHD and other co-occurring conditions:

A young girl sits on an exam table during a routine checkup. The girl smiles gently as her healthcare provide reviews medical information with her on a tablet.

Free Provider Trainings:

A young girl sits in a waiting room playing with a bead maze as her healthcare provider observes her playing and talks with her. The healthcare provider is dressed professionally in scrubs and has a tablet in hand as she takes notes.

More Information on ADHD:

Related Resources:

Tools and Resources

DHDD Releases Partner Toolkit for National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

Young child plays with toys on the floor while parent looks on. Text reads, “National Speech Language Hearing Month."

DHDD recognizes National Speech-Language-Hearing Month with the release of a new partner toolkit designed to help you raise awareness about the importance of timely hearing screening, diagnosis, and intervention on a child’s development of communication, language and social skills. The toolkit features promotional ideas, key messages, links to educational materials, and social media content in English and Spanish. To access the toolkit and social media graphics, visit the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention website.


Policy, Systems, and Environmental Opportunities for Public Health Impact

A policy, systems, and environment (PSE) change approach focuses on changing the laws and policies, organizational rules, infrastructure, and physical and social contexts within which individuals live to support healthy behaviors. These PSE approaches can support impactful interventions for people with disabilities and developmental concerns, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A CDC commentary provides an overview of factors that may be associated with ADHD, as well as the public health concerns and opportunities moving forward. Examples of PSE opportunities include integrated perinatal support, child health promotion, family support, and responsiveness toward community level chemical exposures. Find out more about how CDC is using PSE strategies to help reduce risks, target prevention efforts, and improve the long-term health and wellbeing of children and adults with ADHD.

The commentary provides an overview of the following previously published metanalyses of factors potentially associated with ADHD:

Around CDC

New CDC Website Live!

We are thrilled to announce the new CDC.gov is now live! The new site is a direct result of our agency-wide effort to modernize and transform digital communications at CDC. As you browse the website, you will notice:

  • A fresh, new look and feel with better readability.
  • Page summaries to help you better understand what information is on each page.
  • Streamlined information and easier access to content.
  • New navigation and an improved user experience.
  • Tailored content for public health professionals, healthcare providers, and the general public.

Find DHDD’s new disability and child development content:

Cross-cutting content that may be of interest:

The new CDC.gov will continue to prioritize remaining pages related to disability and child development, including translated content, for updates over the coming months.

Accessing older content

Because we have cleaned up our site, some previous CDC.gov content is not available on the new site. However, we have provided two options to find older content:

  • Snapshot2024.cdc.gov allows you to see CDC.gov exactly as it was before launch. This will be available until November 29, 2024.
  • Archive.cdc.gov is where CDC will host archival versions of key content previously available on CDC.gov. You can use the search bar to find earlier versions of past content to view, print, or save. This will be available indefinitely.


Syndicated pages will continue to work using the new CDC.gov, but content may have changed. We encourage you to review any syndicated pages to ensure the content you are syndicating from the updated page still meets your content needs.

Changes to URLs

The new CDC.gov includes link changes that will automatically direct users from the old URLs to the new corresponding webpage. If you are linking to CDC.gov pages and need help updating your links, email us at ncbdddinquiry@cdc.gov.

We are excited to share the new CDC.gov with you and hope you find it enriching to your work! If you have questions about the new CDC.gov, email us at dcm@cdc.gov.

CDC Releases Guidance to Prevent the Spread of Infections in Schools

CDC has released evidence-based guidance for preventing the spread of infections in K-12 schools. The guidance can help schools take everyday actions to prevent and control the spread of common childhood illnesses, such as flu and strep throat. Strategies include teaching proper hand washing; improving ventilation in schools; cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting when appropriate; and promoting vaccinations for students and staff.

The guidance also includes actions to take when children or staff become ill, such as staying home when sick and using personal protective equipment when caring for sick children.

Key resources:

Partner News and Announcements

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: Partner Promotion Toolkit

Man plays basketball while using a wheelchair. His quote says, “I found a way to get active that works for me – and I’m making simple changes to eat healthier.” Text reads, “Find healthy habits that work for you. It all adds up!”

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition has developed a partner toolkit to help you spread the word about National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This resource focuses on how physical activity and sports can positively impact mental health. The toolkit includes Move Your Way® campaign resources, including key messages, social media, and promotional graphics. The Move Your Way® campaign helps promote the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which includes the benefits of physical activity for people with disabilities.

Please feel free to share this communication broadly within your networks. If you are not currently a subscriber, click the button below to subscribe.


DHDD’S mission is to lead inclusive programs to optimize the health and development of children and adults with, or at risk for, disabilities.

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