Sunday, April 1, 2012

Letter to politicians.

Dear {Representative, Senator, President},

As you may or may not be aware, today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Also, the CDC has released the latest statistics on autism. 1 in every 88 children born in 2008 have autism.

While this number is striking, what is more interesting is that this number is 4 years old.

According to CDC statistics, autism has been rising at an alarming 13% a year (on average) since 2000.

Based on these numbers, the statistics for this year is 1 in 54.

1 in 54. Take a moment to think about that. That is nearly 2% of our population - of your constituents - that have a disability.

Now I would like to introduce another statistic. One that is difficult to stomach. Did you know that only 70% of autistic adults are able to live and function independently as adults?

I want you to think ahead 10 years and consider the numbers. That means that 70% of the 1 in 54 - 1 in 77 (more than 1%) of our population in the United States will be on disability for autism alone. That does not include other physical, mental or cognitive disabilities.

Our great country is currently underfunding research in this disability. Currently, the NIH is only providing 0.6% of its' funding to go towards determining the causes and treatments of this disorder.

Not only that, but many states refuse to provide safeguards to ensure that autistic children's insurance provide adequate services (which, by the way, could cut lifelong costs by 2/3, according to statistics provided by Autism Speaks).

Please make April more than Autism Awareness Month. Please prove that this country is committed to providing answers and help to families living with this disorder everyday.

At 1 in 88, we do not need simple 'Awareness'. We need help. NOW.

{Kate Duzan}


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