This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 26.7% of the 8-year old children with autism have what is called “profound autism.” This term refers to children who are nonverbal, minimally verbal, or have a severe intellectual impairment.
We need this new category for increasing awareness that children with profound autism are underrepresented in autism research and intervention studies, despite having the greatest need for services and supports. This information is essential for improving policies, programs, and resources to provide support across the lifespan.
The report, titled “The Prevalence and Characteristics of Children with Profound Autism, 15 Sites, United States, 2000-2016,” was published in Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service.