Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are complex disorders of development that first become noticeable in early childhood. Children with autism often have a hard time relating to and communicating with other people, experience difficulty in social situations, and have repetitive behaviors and interests.
In response to concerns from parents and others about the growing numbers of children being diagnosed with ASDs, the Children's Health Act of 2000 was passed by Congress to promote research on autism. As part of these efforts, EHIB received funding for five years from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE). Even though this particular funding has ended, EHIB staff are still conducting public health research investigating how often autism occurs (surveillance) and what factors contribute to it.