Click the following links to learn more about WISADDS and ASD.

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    What is the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding surveillance activities in 16 sites in 15 states, including Wisconsin, to develop programs to monitor the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other developmental disabilities. The ADDM Network aims to provide comparable, population-based estimates of the prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities at different sites over time. The combined data from the various ADDM sites can help inform researchers about the possible causes of ASDs or factors contributing to the apparent increase in ASD diagnoses. In addition, the ADDM Network seeks to conduct education and outreach activities to increase public awareness and lead to improvements in how individuals with ASDs are identified and receive appropriate interventions. For more information, please see CDC Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    What is the Wisconsin Surveillance of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities System (WISADDS)?

    WISADDS is a multisource investigation to monitor the number of 4-, 8-, and 16-year-old children in the population with ASD, cerebral palsy (CP), or both. This surveillance system will help establish an accurate count of the children and families in Wisconsin affected by these disorders. This project is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and investigators from the Waisman Center and the Department of Population Health Sciences of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WISADDS is a joint undertaking with CDC and other state partners, agencies, and organizations that serve children with developmental disabilities and their families.

    What part of Wisconsin is in WISADDS?

    The study covers the following counties of southeastern Wisconsin — Dane, Green, Jefferson, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Rock, Walworth, and Waukesha. Approximately 30,000 babies are born in these counties each year, and about half of the state’s population resides in these counties.

    How many people 3 through 21 years of age are classified as having autism by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction?

    During the 2019-2020 school year, 13,218 (1.5%) of Wisconsin’s public and private school students were classified as having autism and receiving special education services. The number of children residing in Wisconsin and receiving special education services for autism tripled from 2002 through 2020.

    How common are ASDs among children who live in Wisconsin?

    The WISADDS 2020 surveillance year data found that 1 in 36 or 2.8% of 8-year-old children were identified with ASD. From the first surveillance year (2002) through 2020, identified ASD prevalence has more than doubled in Wisconsin. You can read the report in its entirety. The corresponding community report is available for download from the CDC website.

    For further information, please contact:

    Maureen Durkin, PhD, DrPH
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Waisman Center
    1500 Highland Avenue
    Room S101E
    Madison, WI 53705
    Phone: 608.263.7507