In the past two decades the prevalence of autism has reached epidemic proportions in our country. This is especially shocking because just a few years ago, autism was a rare disorder. A study released in March 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that autism prevalence has increased from the 2012 rate of 1 in 88 to 1 in 68 children.
This is a staggering 30% increase in just two years. This newest estimate is based on the CDC’s evaluation of health and educational records of all 8-year-old children in 11 states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah and New Jersey.
Autism is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189). In Utah, 1 in 32 boys is autistic. The prevalence of autism is rising at about 12% a year. The number of children with autism will double every 6 years. In 5 years, autism could affect 1 in 50 children or 1 in 31 boys and there will be at least one child with autism in every classroom in America. More children are diagnosed with autism than cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. It is indeed the greatest pediatric healthcare concern of our times.
A consequence of the autism’s dramatic explosion is that the diagnosis and treatment have been gravely misunderstood. One example is that autism is commonly considered a genetic, purely neurological disorder. In reality, the symptoms of autism appear to be caused by underlying physiological factors that are triggered by the environment.
The incredible message of hope that families need to hear is that with appropriate treatment those suffering with autism can experience great health improvements and a better quality of life. In fact, full recovery from autism has been reported thousands of times.
When children do not receive appropriate treatment, there have been two lifetime studies conducted that prove the outcome: 90% of autistic adults are unable to live or work independently and have less than one social interaction per month. This causes parents of children with autism to have extreme uncertainty about who will care for their child when they are unable. Furthermore, it is not confirmed what lifetime care will cost for a person with autism. The minimum estimate is between $3.5 million and $5 million. With the exploding number of affected children and the inflationary cost of care, the burden on the American economy can only be imagined.
America has two great needs:
Heart For Autism’s goal is to strategically meet these needs. But we can only change autism’s trend with your help. Get involved and Have a Heart TODAY.