Increased testing for autism in Utah is impacting autism rates

Apr 4, 2023, 4:50 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 3:03 pm

Some of the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that autism r...

FILE: Daniele Brown works with her son, Daniel Brown, who is autistic, at their home in Highland, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The Brown family participated in a Brigham Young University autism study to help parents better their autistic children. (Nate Edwards, BYU)

(Nate Edwards, BYU)

SALT LAKE CITY — Some of the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that autism rates are growing among Utah children. But, there’s a catch. The number is higher because more parents are having their children tested.

According to the CDC, the agency’s 2023 Community Report on Autism represents results from 11 communities that make up the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Utah is one of those communities. 

Three counties are represented in the Utah numbers. They are Salt Lake, Davis, and Tooele Counties.

The report is a self-described snapshot of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among 4 and 8-year-olds in the 11 communities that make up the ADDM network.

The Utah takeaways

In Utah, one in 40 children who are 8 years of age, or 2.5% of Utah 8-year-olds in a three-county area, were identified with ASD in 2020 (the year for which the most current information is available.) This number is similar to the average percentage identified in the 10 other communities involved in the ADDM Network

The study also identified that one in 79 children who are 4 years of age (or 1.3%) had ASD in a three-county area of Utah in 2020.

The study authors found that kids that live in lower-income neighborhoods were more often identified as having ASD than were kids in higher-income neighborhoods.

And researchers also found that Utah has made improvements in the number of kids receiving ASD testing by age 48 months. 

Getting that diagnosis early is important for many reasons said Colin Kingsbury with the Autism Council of Utah.

“If you can get them in to be identified, evaluated, and diagnosed earlier, there’s so many more services that are available,” Kingsbury said.

What can be done with the information?

The CDC said that their information can be used in multiple ways, namely to promote new initiatives aimed at earlier identification of ASD and a blueprint for ASD services and trainings.

April is Autism Awareness Month and to help parents, the state provides information to help you through the evaluation process of your child, to show where you can go to receive an autism evaluation, and help in finding the services parents may need after a child is diagnosed with ASD.

Other reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.



Alex Cabrero

South Jordan residents react to thousands of tumbleweeds in front of their homes

As heavy winds blew through a Daybreak neighborhood in South Jordan, avoiding tumbleweeds kind of became a sport.

22 hours ago

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah....

Mark Jones

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

As of 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, airport officials said 146 flights had been delayed, which is 39% of the departing flights.

22 hours ago

Crews working on a power pole that was damaged when heavy winds blew through the area near Shivwits...

Derrick Jones

Power restored to thousands, work continues, after winter slams Utah

Rocky Mountain Power attributed the outages to power lines downed or damaged by the wind and snow.

1 day ago

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

The Utah 2024 Legislative Session is over. Here’s what lawmakers did

Utah lawmakers made the most out of the 2024 general legislative session, passing 591 bills, surpassing last year's previous high of 575.

1 day ago

Tumbleweeds surround an Eagle Mountain home on March 2, 2024. (Photo credit: Brennen Katsos)...

Josh Ellis

High winds hit Wasatch Front as storm moves in

Winds will continue to increase over western Utah valleys Saturday ahead of a front and spread into southern Utah.

1 day ago

A lone camper truck moves north bound on the I-80 at the Donner Pass Exit on Friday, March 1, 2024,...

SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press

Blizzard ‘as bad as it gets’ hits California, Nevada. Strip of I-80 shut down

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning through Sunday for a 300-mile stretch of the mountain range.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Increased testing for autism in Utah is impacting autism rates