In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the multi-state Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The purpose of the Network is to provide comparable, population-based, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) prevalence estimates across US regions. Baseline ASD estimates were determined for the study year 2000 in New Jersey and five other US states. Overall ASD prevalence across the ADDM Network was estimated to be 6.7 per 1,000, indicating that 1-in-150 eight-year old children was affected by this key developmental disorder. Estimates of ASD prevalence in New Jersey in 2000 was significantly higher - 9.9 per 1,000, however, consistent with 1-in-94 children with ASD.
The New Jersey ASD surveillance region includes Essex, Hudson, Union and Ocean Counties. These counties encompass a significant, highly-diverse, population with approximately 33,000 births annually. Essex, Hudson and Union counties are contiguous and represent the complex, urban-suburban demography of metropolitan New Jersey. ASD surveillance is also conducted in Ocean County, an area of high residential growth, approximately 60 miles south. Ocean County was added to the New Jersey surveillance region to understand the high rates of ASD identified in Brick Township.
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