About a quarter of 16-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have yet to receive a formal diagnosis, according to research from Rutgers. The study, which appears in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, used a method called active multiple-source surveillance to produce what its authors believe to be the best-ever data on ASD prevalence among adolescents in our region.

“We think this is the largest ever study of ASD in this age group, and we hope it helps schools, health care providers and others with information that leads to better understanding and services,” said Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and lead author of the study. The researchers found that, overall, 1.77 percent of 16-year-olds in northeastern New Jersey have ASD, but the condition affects males more than females, whites more than Blacks or Hispanics, and high-income adolescents more than low-income peers. To read the full story.