WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2013) -- With the prevalence of autism on the rise, the nation's ability to continue tracking ASDs will be reduced by over $1 million in the curent federal budget as the result of cutbacks mandated by the federal budget "sequester."
The sequester, or cut, was triggered March 1 across the entire federal budget and has now led to a 5.04 percent cut in the autism prevalence research program of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. The current 1 in 88 prevalence rate for autism was derived from data collected by the Center's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
"These budget cuts threaten our nation's future ability to monitor autism and understand how it affects families in our society," said Michael Rosanoff, Autism Speaks' associate director of public health research.
Sequestration is an automatic, across-the-board spending cut in the federal budget designed to reduce the nation’s deficit. The cut that took effect March 1, originally $85 billion but since reduced, was the first in a series of annual reductions intended to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion by 2021, unless and until Congress and the President can agree on more targeted cuts.
The ADDM Network collected data from health and special education records of children who lived in 14 areas of the United States during 2008, focusing on 8-year-olds. The ADDM Network is now in its third phase of funding, collecting data from 12 sites to monitor the prevalence of ASDs among 8-year-old children who lived in those communities during 2010.