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Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities

Why Counts Count: Today's Autism Numbers, Tomorrow's Projections


Monday, June 4 Schedule of Events

Welcome to the live webcast of "Why Counts Count: Today's Autism Numbers, Tomorrow's Projections," sponsored by the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The schedule of events and approximate times are: 

  • 1:30 p.m. Introduction by Dani Fallin, PhD, Wendy Klag Center director, and remarks by Dean Emeritus Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, founder of the Wendy Klag Center.
  • 1:45 p.m. Prevalence trends by Li-Ching Lee, PhD, principal investigator of the Maryland site of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network and associate scientist in the Departments of Epidemiology and Mental Health.
  • 2:10 p.m. Perspective of an autism services agency: Mission and overview of services for teens and adults, by Eric Salzano, executive director of CSAAC, a Maryland nonprofit that provides supports to children and adults with autism.
  • 2:35 p.m. Projections of future adult autism counts in Maryland and the U.S. by Li-Ching Lee and Qingfeng Li, PhD, assistant scientist, Departments of International Health and Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
  • 2:55 p.m. 10-minute break
  • 3:05 p.m. Panel discussion with Zosia Zaks, M.Ed., C.R.C, the manager of programs and education at Towson University's Hussman Center for Adults with Autism; Maureen van Stone, Esq., associate director of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute; Terri Savage, Ed.D., acting executive director of special education for the Howard County Public Schools System; Rhonda Workman, director of federal programs for the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration; and Eric Salzano, executive director of CSAAC.

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM)

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network (ADDM)The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network (ADDM) is a CDC-funded project that aims to monitor the number of cases of autism and other developmental disabilities in different regions of this country to provide accurate, population-based estimates of the prevalence of these disabilities in young children. 

Li-Ching Lee, PhD, has been the principal investigator of the Maryland site, based at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, since the project first began.

The latest ADDM prevalence report related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) was released in April 2018. The national 2018 report, which focused on data from 2014, found an overall prevalence of 1 in 59 children with ASD. As in prior years, the prevalence among boys was four times higher than among girls. In the new report, the prevalence was 1 in 38 boys, compared to 1 in 152 girls.

Research sites in 11 states participated, including Maryland.  Other sites were in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The Maryland data were derived from health and special education records of children who were 8 years old and living in Baltimore County in 2014. Taking a look at Maryland's numbers, the overall prevalence was found to be 1 in 50 children, with 1 in 31 boys and 1 in 139 girls meeting criteria for ASD.

Monitoring Strategy

The surveillance system is a multiple source, records-based population surveillance system, currently focused on ASDs with plans to expand to other developmental disabilities in the future.  The Maryland ADDM site collaborates with the Maryland State Department of Education and local hospitals to obtain data about potential ASD cases.

What if I have a concern about a child's development?

The CDC recommends that parents track their child's development and act quickly to get their child screened if they have a concern. Free checklists and information for parents, physicians and child care providers are available at this CDC web page.