The CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network has released new numbers regarding the prevalence of autism.
The ADDM Network states 1 in 54 U.S. children is now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by age 8. This is almost a 10 percent increase from the previous numbers of 1 in 59 children. The figures come from 11 communities across the U.S.
In Minnesota, the numbers are even higher. The Minnesota-Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (MN-ADDM) reports that 1 in 44 children in Minnesota has ASD. The median age for an autism diagnosis in Minnesota is 4 years and 8 months.
Racial disparities in diagnosis are improving
However, there is some good news. For the first time, the ADDM Network found no gap in the number of black and white children being diagnosed with autism. That means organizations like Fraser that are working to provide ASD screening for all children are making progress.
However, Hispanic children are still being diagnosed at lower rates, and both black and Hispanic children are being diagnosed later than white children. So more screening and intervention work are crucial to reaching out to these children sooner.
More children are being evaluated earlier
Research shows early intervention can lead to dramatically positive outcomes. The report also found children with ASD who were screened by the age of 3 increased from 74% to 84%. So organizations that serve people with autism, like Fraser, are evaluating more children at an earlier age. This gives children the potential for much earlier access to these crucial interventions.
Fraser is Minnesota’s largest and most experienced autism provider. We provide a range of autism services — including evaluations, therapies and classes — for people from birth through adulthood. Our treatment plans are customized for each individual and family to maximize outcomes. Fraser is currently accepting new clients for our telehealth services. For families who are looking for answers, we are also providing diagnostic assessments and Fraser Family Consults through telehealth.