Information that policymakers, educators and services providers can use
How can policymakers, educators and service providers plan now to meet current and future needs of people with autism and other developmental disabilities? We have collected information and resources to help high-level planners understand the prevalence of autism, facts about autism insurance mandates, and agencies that serve people with disabilities.
What is the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder?
The CDC funds the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM), whose most recent report, in March 2023 based on 2020 data from 11 states, found an overall prevalence of 1 in 36 8-year-old children with ASD (2.8 percent). In 2020, the rate of ASD for 8-year-old boys was 3.8 times higher than among girls at all sites. In a separate report, the same ADDM sites contributed to prevalence numbers among 4-year-olds, finding a prevalence of 1 in 46 children (2.2 percent). Research sites in 11 states participated, including Maryland. Other sites were in Arizona, Arkansas, California Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
- For more information, visit the CDC website regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder, with links to an array of resources, reports and data tools.
- Read the full CDC report here: "Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years -- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020"
- Read the full CDC report, "Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 4 Years -- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020"
- Read the 2023 Community Report for all participating states
- Read the 2020 CDC publication estimating the number of adults with autism both nationwide and broken down by states.
What are autism insurance mandates?
Starting in the early 2000s, states began legislating that heath insurers cover certain therapies for children diagnosed with ASD. The policies vary by state, such as what ages are covered, what therapies are covered, and coverage maximums per child.
Select publications about autism insurance mandates
- Saloner B, Barry CL. Changes in spending and service use after a state autism insurance mandate. Autism. 2019 Jan;23(1):167-174. doi: 10.1177/1362361317728205. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PMID: 29126371.
- McBain RK, Cantor JH, Kofner A, Stein BD, Yu H. State Insurance Mandates and the Workforce for Children With Autism. Pediatrics. 2020 Oct;146(4):e20200836. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-0836. Epub 2020 Sep 8. PMID: 32900876; PMCID: PMC7546088.
- Candon MK, Barry CL, Marcus SC, Epstein AJ, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Xie M, Mandell DS. Insurance Mandates and Out-of-Pocket Spending for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pediatrics. 2019 Jan;143(1):e20180654. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-0654. Epub 2018 Dec 12. PMID: 30541827; PMCID: PMC6317558.
Who oversees federal autism efforts?
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is an advisory committee that includes both federal and public members. Its goal is to ensure that a range of ideas and perspectives are represented in coordinating federal efforts and providing advice to the secretary of Health and Human Services. The IACC's meetings are public. Learn more.
What is Medicaid's role in autism services?
The federal Medicaid program has several coverage categories for ASD. Additionally, states can create home and community-based waivers for services. Learn more
Where can I learn more about Maryland-based services?
Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Administration focuses on six areas: self-determination, self-advocacy, supporting families, housing, employment, and assistive technology. The DDA administers various programs for people with ASD and their families, ranging from childhood to adulthood. Learn more
The Governor's Office of Community Initiatives has a state coordinator for autism strategy, Katie Gandy, and also an Advisory Stakeholder Group on Autism-Related Needs. Learn more.
The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is one of a national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. MCDD offers research and evaluation on policies; community service and technical assistance; training and continuing education; dissemination of information. Learn more