Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Day — April 2013


April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Day. Nearly one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can result in major social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Onset of symptoms usually occurs between a child’s first and third birthdays. Early identification and intervention can help a child access services and learn new skills; however, most children are not identified until after they reach age 4 years (1).

The CDC’s “Learn the Signs, Act Early” program has tools to help parents and early childhood-care and education providers track children’s developmental milestones and provides information about what to do if there is a concern. This program also offers resources for health-care providers, including the Autism Case Training course, which is available online for individual continuing education credit and as a classroom-based curriculum for pediatric residency programs.

1. CDC. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. MMWR 2012;61(No. SS-03).

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