Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other
Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey
(November 2015) - CDC and
NCHS - The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is
a nationally representative household survey which collects data throughout the year using in person interviews. Information
is collected on all family members (e.g. demographic and basic health). In addition, one adult and one child is randomly
selecting from each family to answer more detailed health questions. The 2014 NHIS survey reordered questions and used a
new approach to asking about autism spectrum disorders. The results show an estimated prevalence of ASD was 2.24%
(ages 3 to 17 years) which is a significant increase from the previous 2011-2013 data. Revising the ordering of the survey
question and the new approach to asking about ASD likely affected the prevalence estimates. The prevalence estimates reported
in this survey are now more similar to the prevalence estimates of ASD from other sources.
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).