Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that affect social interaction, communication, and behavior. ASDs have increasingly become a topic in public policy discussions, primarily because of the steady increase of children identified on the autism spectrum. This report is the first in a series in response to a legislative inquiry about public services for infants, children, and youth with autism in Tennessee. The series has been divided into public policy areas directly connected to autism services (i.e., data collection, education, and healthcare services). Part 1 includes an overview of autism as a disability and associated laws, and a review of autism data collection and prevalence estimates. Subsequent reports within the series will review public education and healthcare services.
Recipient of the 2012 NLPES Impact Award