Research by Topic: Prevalence

Autism Science Foundation Comments on Today’s CDC Data Showing Autism Prevalence Rate Rising to 1 in 54 from 1 in 59

Published March 26, 2020

NEW YORK — March 26, 2020 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced that 1 in 54 eight-year old children have been identified with autism, a rise from the 1 in 59 rate announced two years ago. The increased prevalence rate announced today is based on a study of children who […]

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Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014

Published June 26, 2019 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

PROBLEM/CONDITION: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PERIOD COVERED: 2014. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network is an active surveillance system that provides estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children aged 8 years whose parents or guardians reside within 11 ADDM sites in the United States (Arizona, Arkansas, […]

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Among US Children (2002-2010): Socioeconomic, Racial, and Ethnic Disparities

Published June 24, 2019 in American Journal of Public Health

OBJECTIVES: To describe the association between indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) and the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States during the period 2002 to 2010, when overall ASD prevalence among children more than doubled, and to determine whether SES disparities account for ongoing racial and ethnic disparities in ASD prevalence.METHODS: We […]

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A Prospective Study of the Concordance of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published June 24, 2019 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

The transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sparked considerable concern about the potential implications of these changes. This study was designed to address limitations of prior studies by prospectively examining the concordance of DSM-IV and final DSM-5 criteria on a consecutive sample of 439 children referred for autism diagnostic evaluations. […]

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Race influences parent report of concerns about symptoms of autism spectrum disorder

Published June 24, 2019 in Autism

Racial differences in parent report of concerns about their child’s development to healthcare providers may contribute to delayed autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in Black children. We tested the hypotheses that compared to White parents, Black parents of children with autism spectrum disorder would report fewer concerns about autism symptoms and would be more likely to […]

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Podcast: Lordy Lordy it’s One in Forty

Published December 3, 2018

You may have heard the news: The prevalence of autism is 1:40 according to an email survey of parents. However, there’s more information in the study that’s worthy of consideration: The high rate of unmet mental health needs in those with ASD. Learn more on the ASF podcast. Read more about the study.

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New CDC autism prevalence rate at 1 in 59 children

Published April 26, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism prevalence at 1 in 59 children based on data from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network – a tracking system that provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among more than 300,000 8-year-old children. The ADDM Network estimates […]

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CDC Study Finds 95% of Children with Autism Have One Comorbidity

Published March 14, 2018

A new study by the CDC, including Dr. Matthew Maenner, ASF Grantee ’10, found that 95% of children with autism have at least one psychiatric or medical comorbidity, which may have a role in age of first evaluation—the more comorbid conditions, the earlier the first evaluation for ASD. Read the study here.

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Podcast: What is the real prevalence of ASD?

Published January 8, 2018

This week’s ASF podcast takes a look at the prevalence rate of autism diagnoses. Two national datasets have shown no further increase in autism prevalence in the last few years of looking. Also, folic acid proves to show an effect on the probability of not just an autism diagnosis but also autism symptoms, especially important […]

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Will someone please determine the real prevalence of autism?

Published November 16, 2015 in

What is the real prevalence of autism? It depends on how you ask the question. But however it is asked, the answer is too high. Additionally, those with autism are entering the educational system where interventions are built in an "ivory tower." Interventions need to be adapted and implemented in real world settings with real […]

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Excess Mortality and Causes of Death in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow Up of the 1980s Utah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

Published May 8, 2015 in J Autism Dev Disord

This study’s purpose was to investigate mortality among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ascertained during a 1980s statewide autism prevalence study (n = 305) in relation to controls.

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Should We Believe the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Estimates?

Published July 1, 2014 in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice

Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice has published an important and interesting new editorial by Dr. David Mandell and Dr. Luc Lecavalier that challenges the methods the CDC uses to collect and publish autism prevalence data, now at 1 in 68.

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CDC Releases 2014 Community Report on Autism

Published April 11, 2014 in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC has released its 2014 Community Report on Autism, which gives details behind the new 1 in 68 number, as well as additional state-by-state prevalence information.

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How to Think About the Risk of Autism

Published March 29, 2014 in New York Times

When it comes to autism prevalence, it can be difficult to separate real risks from false rumors. The topics that gain the most media coverage aren’t always the ones with the greatest affect on autism risk. The risk ratio can give perspective where isolated news stories dont.

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A Higher Mutational Burden in Females Supports a Female Protective Model in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Published February 27, 2014 in American Journal of Human Genetics

Researchers have more clues as to why more boys than girls are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics suggests that for boys, it takes less of a genetic hit to cause autism than it does for girls. The study continues to say that when it does appear in girls, it is due to a much more severe genetic hit, usually resulting in much more severe autism symptoms.

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Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity

Published February 14, 2014 in The Lancet

Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. A new study in The Lancet states that industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. Building on a 2006 study in which researchers identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants (lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene), epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. To protect children from exposure to such harmful chemicals, researchers say that untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development.

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Study Links Autism and Somalis in Minneapolis

Published December 16, 2013 in New York Times

A long-awaited study has confirmed the fears of Somali residents in Minneapolis that their children suffer from higher rates of a disabling form of autism compared with other children there. The study by the University of Minnesota, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks found high rates of autism in two populations: About one Somali child in 32 and one white child in 36 in Minneapolis were on the autism spectrum. But the Somali children were less likely than the whites to be high-functioning and more likely to have I.Q.s below 70. (The average I.Q. score is 100.) The study offered no explanation of the statistics.

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Autism Rates Rise in US, but Level Off in UK

Published October 16, 2013 in BMJ Open

Autism rates in the United Kingdom appear to have leveled off between the years 2000 and 2010 after a five-fold rate increase in the 1990s. The report, published in the journal BMJ Open, does not have any conclusive answers as to why there was such a dramatic increase in autism diagnosis in the 1990s, but it does state that any link between autism and vaccines has been ruled out. This BMJ Open report is being compared to a report released by the CDC last year that found rates of autism diagnosis in the United States increased 78 percent between 2004 and 2008.

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Kids with Cerebral Palsy More Likely to Have Autism

Published October 1, 2013 in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New research from the CDC and published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology found significantly high rates of autism among children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Of the 147,000 children studied, seven percent of the children with cerebral palsy were also diagnosed with autism, compared to a little greater than one percent of kids who have autism in the general population.

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Study Finds that a Subset of Children with Autism may be Misdiagnosed

Published September 18, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders

A study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute studied children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, who as a group have a prevalence of autism between 20 and 50 percent according to parent reports. This study found that these children may be getting misdiagnosed because the symptoms of the chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, including social impairments, are very similar to symptoms of autism.

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Study Examines the Effects of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) on Autism Risk

Published July 3, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

This study found that most in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures do not show an increase in the risk of autism. However, it found a small increase in the risk of autism in the most severe forms of male infertility that require surgical sperm retrieval.

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Association of Maternal Exposure to Childhood Abuse With Elevated Risk for Autism in Offspring

Published March 20, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

This study examined the relationship between maternal childhood abuse and autism in children in a large population-based sample. Maternal abuse was significantly associated with increased autism risk even after researchers controlled for perinatal risk factors, including gestational diabetes, smoking during pregnancy, preeclampsia, exposure to intimate partner violence and premature birth.

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Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 20112012

Published March 20, 2013 in CDC

This report presents data on the prevalence of diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as reported by parents of school-aged children (ages 617 years) in 20112012. Results suggest 1 in 50 U.S. children is diagnosed with ASD based on parent report.

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Evaluating Changes in the Prevalence of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

Published March 14, 2013 in Public Health Reviews

In effort to stimulate more research to better understand ASD trends, ASF President Alison Singer and other stakeholders discuss the increase in ASD prevalence and share their knowledge and opinions.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Reclassified: A Second Look at the 1980s Utah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

Published January 1, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

According to this study, DSM-IV-TR criteria capture more individuals with ASD and intellectual disability than DSM III criteria. The authors examined records from a statewide epidemiological study in the 80s and found that 59% of participants who were considered not autistic in the original study likely were autistic based on current DSM criteria and clinician review methods used in CDC studies.

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The Rising Prevalence of Autism: A Prospective Longitudinal Study in the Faroe Islands

Published September 1, 2012 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

“We have followed up a 2002 population study of autism prevalence in 15-24-year olds in the Faroe Islands. The rate of ASD grew significantly from 0.56% in 2002 to 0.94% in 2009. Although these results are within the range of typical findings from other studies, there were some interesting details. There were-in addition to 43 originally diagnosed cases in 2002-24 newly discovered cases in 2009 and nearly half of them were females. It is possible that unfamiliarity with the clinical presentation of autism in females have played a significant role in this context. There was diagnostic stability for the overall category of ASD over time in the group diagnosed in childhood (7-16) years, but considerable variability as regards diagnostic sub-groupings.”

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Migration and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Population-based Study

Published August 1, 2012 in The British Journal of Psychiatry

Results of this study show that while children of migrant parents are at an increased risk of low-functioning autism, they are at a decreased risk for high-functioning autism. Researchers call for further research to determine if environmental factors associated with migration influence the development of autism.

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