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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Johns Hopkins: Adolescence New Focus of Autism Research at the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Adolescent outcomes will be a new focus of autism research under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The funding comes under a new phase of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, the only collaborative network to monitor the number and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities in multiple communities throughout the United States.

Since 2000, ADDM has funded the surveillance of autism spectrum disorder among 8-year-olds, issuing periodic reports that have most recently estimated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder at one in 59 children in the U.S. communities in its network. A new phase will include 4-year-olds and a follow-up of 16-year-olds who were previously identified by ADDM as having ASD. The teen follow-up will be conducted at the Bloomberg School, the University of Arkansas site and the CDC’s intramural site in Georgia. Funding began in January 2019 and will run for four years.

“A lot of prior autism research has focused on young children,” said Dr. Li-Ching Lee, principal investigator of the Maryland ADDM site and an associate director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. “We don’t know very much about how adolescents with autism spectrum disorder are doing from a population perspective. The new addition of the ADDM Network will help to improve our understanding on their transition planning in needed services, and to provide valuable information for service providers and public health strategy.”

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