Autism Fast Facts

What is autism?

autism-awareness-ribbonDiagnosed in 1 in 68 children —  and 1 in 42 boys — autism is the most common pervasive developmental disorder and is also the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. My older son, Jacob, is one of those 1 in 42 boys.

As many as 1.5 million Americans are estimated to have some form of autism. The Autism Society of America estimates that 4 million Americans could be diagnosed in the next decade.

To help you better understand autism and the importance of early intervention, shared below are some facts about autism (courtesy of Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group):

Basic Facts

  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing.
  • Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation

  • Total 2012 NIH budget: $30.86 billion
  • Of this, only $169 million goes directly to autism research.
  • This represents 0.55% of total NIH funding.

Resources for Parents, Familes and Friends

Despite some significant challenges early on — including not speaking until he was 4 —  my son, Jacob, has made remarkable progress. His success is most notably due to Applied Behavior Analysis services provided by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD).

He has truly emerged into the wonderful, thoughtful and intelligent little boy he always was. Grateful is a word that barely communicates how I feel. I am sharing the links and information above as part of paying it forward: Jacob made the progress he did because his Mom and I had access to resources many parents aren’t even aware of.

While I realize this is just one page on one blog, it is my hope that this information can assist a family who needs a helping hand.