The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has announced an updated autism prevalence rate of 1 in 68 children. This does not represent a change from the previous rates. The CDC has cautioned that it is too soon to know whether the rate has stabilized.
The report reinforces that regardless of the rate staying the same, many families still lack access to services. This is particularly true for black and Hispanic families - a fact that prompted ASNV to launch our Hispanic outreach program in 2015.
According to the CDC:
“Targeted strategies are needed to identify and address barriers in order to lower the age at which black and Hispanic children are evaluated, diagnosed, and connected to the services they need,” said Daisy Christensen, PhD, a CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the ADDM Network report.
The report also shows that, overall, less than half (43%) of children identified with ASD receive developmental evaluations by age 3. This suggests that many children may not be getting identified as early as they could be. Progress needs to be made to reach the Healthy People 2020 goal of increasing to 47% the proportion of children with ASD having a first evaluation by age 3.
Read the full CDC announcement here.