January 2010: The Bureau of Developmental Services, with the help of New Hampshire Family Voices, has released preliminary first year data from the New Hampshire Autism Spectrum Disorders Registry created in late 2008. The first year’s data has been released, showing 119 people across New Hampshire diagnosed during that 12 month period. Of that number, more than 60% were diagnosed under the age of five, an important statistic in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

Early screening and intervention are crucial to alleviating the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a unique public health initiative, the Registry was carefully designed to track only the information necessary to answer to identify diagnostic patterns. It is intended to help guide public health policy so that there are better outcomes for individuals affected by ASD and their families.

As of November 2008, New Hampshire law requires that physicians, licensed clinical psychologists, and other health care professionals who diagnose a NH resident with ASD must report that diagnosis to the NH ASD Registry, administered by the Bureau of Developmental Services in Concord. New Hampshire is the second state in the nation to create a Registry, which will provide information on how many children are diagnosed with ASD each year, and how early in life this neurological condition is typically identified in our state.

A copy of the NH ASD Registry report and further information and answers to frequently asked questions about ASD and the NH Autism Registry are available at the Bureau of Developmental Services website.