Between 2012 and 2014, autism rates increased from one in every 68 children to one in every 59 children among 8-year-olds at sites monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings appear in a new report from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM). The ADDM analyzes data from 11 states—Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. It gathers information about the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) status of 8-year-olds from sources including public schools, health care facilities and special education programs for children with developmental disabilities.
This report covers data from 2014, which—compared with the previous report in 2012—shows a prevalence increase of nearly 15 percent. This uptick continues the pattern of consistent growth in ASD prevalence since the ADDM launched in 2000 and found the autism rate to be one in 150 children.
ADDM data represent about 8 percent of the nation’s population of 8-year-olds, according to the report. In addition, prevalence varies widely among the states. The lowest rate is in Arkansas, at 13.1 in every 1,000 children age 8, and the highest rate is in New Jersey, at 29.2 in every 1,000 children age 8.
Another report, published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicated rates of autism might be stabilizing. However, the JAMA research used data from the years 2014 through 2016 based on in-person household interviews and includes a range of ages, from children through adolescents.
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