Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 in 88.

That's the new statistic released today by the CDC. 1 in 88 children were diagnosed with autism in 2008. Up from 2006's 1 in 110. Up from 2004's 1 in 125. And 2000-2002's 1 in 150. I can only imagine what 2010's, or this year's numbers are.

World Autism Awareness Day is Monday, April 2, 2012.

In observance (I cannot say 'in celebration of'), here are some facts for you:

-Autism rates are up 78% in the last decade.

-Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined.* (Autism Speaks)

Autism Society stats:
-1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.

-Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.

-10 - 17 % annual growth.

-$60 billion annual cost.

-60% of costs are in adult services.

-Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.

-In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion.

-The cost of autism over the lifespan is 3.2 million dollars per person.

-Only 56% of students with autism finish high school.

-The average per-pupil expenditure for educating a child with autism was estimated by SEEP to be over $18,000 in the 1999-2000 school year. This estimate was nearly three times the expenditure for a typical regular education student who did not receive special education services.

-The unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 14%, compared with 9% for people without a disability. Additionally, during the same period, only 21% of all adults with disabilities participated in the labor force as compared with 69% of the non-disabled population.

-There is NO CURE for autism.

This is staggering and terrifying. It is time for the government to step up and provide more funding for research to end this epidemic. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.

Prevalence vs. Private Funding
Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 300 / Funding: $394 million
Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
Autism: Affects 1 in 110 / Funding: $79 million

National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation
Total 2011 NIH budget: $30.5 billion
Of this, only $169 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.6% of total NIH funding.

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