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Research continues underway to provide data on ASD, learn
more information about genetic risk factors and causes, and help identify
children with ASD as early as possible. One way the CDC learns more about the
number of people with ASD is by a tracking system. The Autism and Developmental
Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network is an active surveillance system funded
by CDC to estimate the prevalence and characteristics of ASD in multiple
communities in the United States. Keeping track of the number of children with
ASD allows to determine if the number rises or drops as time goes on. The
tracking is done using a record review method. The strengths of using the ADDN
Network is it uses a method that is population-based, tracks changes over time
within different communities and within different racial/ethnic groups, and collects
information from multiple sources in the community. The method is cost
effective and uses multiple data sources to identify children who might not
have an ASD diagnosis already. The weaknesses of uses the tracking system is
that the data collection is retrospective, which is not always timely. (CDC,
2016).

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