Department of Economics and Business Economics

Trends in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, intellectual disability, and vision impairment, metropolitan atlanta, 1991-2010

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  • Kim Van Naarden Braun
  • ,
  • Deborah Christensen
  • ,
  • Nancy Doernberg, Denmark
  • Laura Schieve
  • ,
  • Catherine Rice, Denmark
  • Lisa Wiggins, Denmark
  • Diana Schendel
  • Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp

This study examined the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy (CP), hearing loss (HL), intellectual disability (ID), and vision impairment (VI) over a 15-20 year time period, with specific focus on concurrent changes in ASD and ID prevalence. We used data from a population-based developmental disabilities surveillance program for 8-year-olds in metropolitan Atlanta. From 1991-2010, prevalence estimates of ID and HL were stable with slight increases in VI prevalence. CP prevalence was constant from 1993-2010. The average annual increase in ASD prevalence was 9.3% per year from 1996-2010, with a 269% increase from 4.2 per 1,000 in 1996 to 15.5 per 1,000 in 2010. From 2000-2010, the prevalence of ID without ASD was stable; during the same time, the prevalence of ASD with and without co-occurring ID increased by an average of 6.6% and 9.6% per year, respectively. ASD prevalence increases were found among both males and females, and among nearly all racial/ethnic subgroups and levels of intellectual ability. Average annual prevalence estimates from 1991-2010 underscore the significant community resources needed to provide early intervention and ongoing supports for children with ID (13.0 per 1,000), CP, (3.5 per 1,000), HL (1.4 per 1,000) and VI (1.3 in 1,000), with a growing urgency for children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume10
Issue4
Pages (from-to)e0124120
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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