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Autism and Surveillance

At EHIB, we track how many children have ASD in California. It can take several years after a baby is born for a doctor to diagnose them with ASD. Some children will get an ASD diagnosis more than eight years after they are born. Because of this, the most recent numbers available are from 2013.

Eleven of every 1,000 babies born in California in 2013 developed ASD. This is much higher than in 1983, when only about 1.1 children of every 1,000 children born in California developed ASD. This number is growing faster among Hispanic and Black families than white families. Males are about 3.7 times more likely to develop ASD than females.

We get the number of children who develop ASD from the number of children who receive supportive services for ASD through the regional centers of the California Department of Developmental Services. These centers serve about 75% of Californian children with ASD[1]. This means there were probably even more children with ASD born in 2013 than reported.

[1] Croen, L.A., Grether, J.K., Hoogstrate, J. and Selvin, S., 2002. The changing prevalence of autism in California. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 32(3), pp.207-215.

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