Over the next four years, CDC https://www.cdc.gov will invest more than $16 million to improve tracking nine sites included in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm.html. It has been announced that CDC is going to launch one new site.
ADDM is a collaborative network monitoring the number and characteristics of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) along with other developmental disabilities. The goal is for all ten sites to track ASD among four and eight year old children.
ASD surveillance among four year olds can help produce public health strategies to improve early identification of ASD by providing timely information on evaluation and diagnostic patterns.
In addition, the information allows researchers to compare ASD prevalence and informs on the characteristics at different ages among children in a single birth cohort. ASD surveillance among four year olds can be linked to subsequent ASD surveillance among eight year olds.
Three sites including the University of Utah will complete a follow-up of 16 year old adolescents who were included in the ADDM Network in surveillance years 2010 and 2012 when they were eight years old.
Follow up of 16 year olds is a new activity for the ADDM Network and will help determine the public health strategies needed to improve the identification and services needed for children with ASD. Tracking 16 year olds with ASD can provide information on transition planning in special education services and the planned trajectory for post-high school years.
Also, CDC awarded the University of Utah’s Department of Psychiatry a $2 million, four year grant to improve the capacity of the Utah Registry of Autism and Developmental Disabilities (URADD) http://utahautismregistry.org.
URADD was established as a joint effort between the Utah Department of Health and the University of Utah’s Department of Psychiatry to enable the university to track sites and analyze the data to better understand the increases over time in the number of children identified with ASD.