Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program
The two principal objectives of the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (MADDSP) are to (a) provide regular and systematic monitoring of prevalence rates of selected developmental disabilities according to various demographic characteristics of children and their mothers and (b) provide a framework for initiating special studies of children who have the selected developmental disabilities by establishing a population-based case series of such children. The case definition for inclusion in MADDSP is a child who: (a) is 8 years old any time during the study year of interest; (b) whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) reside in the five-county metropolitan Atlanta area at some time during the study year of interest; and © who has one of more of the following disabilities: intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, vision loss, and/or autism spectrum disorder.
The MADDSP case ascertainment methodology relies on the consequences of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which mandates that the public schools provide a free and appropriate education for all disabled children between the ages of 3 and 21 years. As a result, most children eligible for MADDSP are either enrolled in special education programs at public schools serving the Atlanta area or enrolled in other Georgia Department of Education programs for children with developmental disabilities. Additional sources used to identify children include the Georgia Department of Human Resources facilities for children with developmental disabilities, area pediatric hospitals, comprehensive diagnostic and evaluation centers for individuals with developmental disabilities, and private physicians who provide diagnostic services for children with developmental disabilities. Source records (e.g., medical and school records) are reviewed annually for children who are potentially eligible for inclusion in the program.