Increase the proportion of children with autism spectrum disorder who receive special services by age 4 years — MICH‑18 Data Methodology and Measurement

About the National Data


Baseline: 60.1 percent of children with ASD received special services by age 48 months, as reported in 2016-17

Target: 78.1 percent

Number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who received special services by age 48 months.
Number of children, aged 4-8 years, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Target-setting method
Minimal statistical significance
Target-setting method details
Minimal statistical significance, assuming the same standard error for the target as for the baseline.
Target-setting method justification
Trend data were not available for this objective. The standard error was used to calculate a target based on minimal statistical significance, assuming the same standard error for the target as for the baseline. This method was used because it was a statistically significant improvement from the baseline.


Comparable HP2020 objective
Modified, which includes core objectives that are continuing from Healthy People 2020 but underwent a change in measurement.
Changes between HP2020 and HP2030
This objective differs from Healthy People 2020 objective MICH-29.3 in that the data source for objective MICH-29.3 was the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (MADDSP), while the data source for this objective is the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH).
Revision History

The denominator for this objective was changed to 4 through 8 years of age in July 2021. This allows for the full potential to receive services by 48 months and stops at 8 to restrict period effects as there have been major improvements in the timing of diagnosis and service receipt. For example, the proportion receiving services by 48 months drops in half with increasing age from 60.1% among 4-8 year olds to 32.8% among 9-11 year olds and 31.0% among 12-17 year olds with ASD. The previous Healthy People 2020 indicator was restricted to 8 year-olds. As a result, the base line was changed from 43.3 to 60.1, the target was changed from 53.3 to 78.1 and the target setting method was changed from Percent Improvement to Minimal Statistical Significance. While restricting the ages to 4-8 year olds reduces statistical reliability, the NSCH is continuing to increase sample size and all state-level estimates are either suppressed or unreliable regardless of definition. Any trends will be diluted by including all 4-17 year old children with ASD, some of whom would have started services more than 12 years prior, and would reduce the likelihood of target attainment.