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14 Haziran 2024

A Snapshot of Autism Spectrum Disorder in California

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California Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (CA-ADDM) program findings provide valuable insights into autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence, characteristics of affected children, and diagnostic trends in the state of California.

Key Findings from California Data:

  1. Higher Prevalence: California exhibits a higher prevalence of ASD compared to other sites tracked by the CDC. In 2020, 4.5% of 8-year-old children and 4.6% of 4-year-old children were identified with ASD by the CA-ADDM program, surpassing the national average.
  2. Early Diagnosis: Children in California tend to receive their ASD diagnosis at a younger age compared to other locations. The median age of diagnosis for 8-year-old children in California was 36 months, which is earlier than the national average of 49 months.
  3. Ethnic Disparities: Among 8-year-olds, Asian/Pacific Islander children were more likely to be identified with ASD compared to White, Hispanic, and multiracial children. Conversely, White 4-year-old children were less likely to be identified with ASD than children of other racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  4. Intellectual Disabilities Co-occurrence: The co-occurrence of intellectual disabilities among children with ASD in California is lower than in other sites, indicating potential differences in the ASD phenotype.
  5. Gender Disparities: While differences in ASD identification between boys and girls persist, they have decreased compared to previous years, possibly due to changes in screening and diagnostic practices.

Implications and Utility of the Information:

  1. Early Intervention and Services: The data can inform efforts to promote early identification of ASD and plan for appropriate services and interventions for affected individuals and their families.
  2. Policy Development: Policymakers can utilize this information to develop policies aimed at improving healthcare and education outcomes for individuals with ASD.
  3. Community Collaboration: Collaboration among healthcare providers, educators, researchers, and families can be enhanced to address the evolving needs of individuals with ASD across the lifespan.

Data Collection and Methodology:

  • CA-ADDM employs a record review method, analyzing data from health, early intervention, and special education records of children aged 4 and 8 in select areas of California, such as parts of San Diego County.
  • The program collaborates with various stakeholders, including the California Department of Public Health and academic institutions, to understand and address the needs of children with ASD in California.

In summary, CA-ADDM’s findings offer crucial insights into ASD prevalence, diagnostic trends, and disparities in California, facilitating targeted interventions and support for affected individuals and their families.

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