Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Topic Editor: Evelyn Shaw

Most recent additions to this page:

  • Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010 (March 28, 2014). This report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides new estimates from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, finding that for 2010 the overall prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among the ADDM sites was one in 68 children aged 8 years. This is approximately 30% higher than previous estimates. Similar to previous findings, this estimate finds that ASD is almost five times more common among boys than girls; white children are more likely to be identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children; and most children with ASD are not diagnosed until after age 4, although ASD can be diagnosed as early as age 2. The latest estimate finds that almost half of children identified with ASD have average or above average intellectual ability (an IQ of 85 and above) compared to a third of children a decade ago. See also - 10 Things to Know About New Autism Data, from the CDC.
  • WWW: Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder (February 2014) provides guidance for diagnosing and treating infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents (0 to 18 years of age) with autism and presents recommendations that include: multidisciplinary care; coordination of services; early, sustained intervention; the use of multiple treatment modalities; helping families with long-term planning; and finding support for parents and siblings. It was published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (p. 237-257). It updates an earlier guidance document published in 1999 and incorporates new research findings.
  • WWW: Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (January 2014) - This report from the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) identifies 27 focused intervention practices that provide a solid, empirical basis on which to design programs for children and youth with ASD. See also, NPCD-ASD's formal definition of evidence-based practices (EBP) and their series of EBP Fact Sheets.

Autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, is an umbrella term commonly used to describe several developmental disorders in which individuals have substantial differences in the nature of their social development and communication skills, as well as unusual behaviors and interests. ASD is not a diagnostic category, but is widely used to refer to three of the five diagnoses under the category of pervasive developmental disorders. Those three diagnoses are Autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Links on this site are verified monthly. This page content was last updated on 04/03/2014 SG

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • CB 8040
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email:

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

  • FPG Child Development Institute
  • OSEP's TA&D Network:
  • IDEAs that Work