Alarming Autism Facts
As many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism.
Based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies, autism is growing at a rate of 10-17% per year. At these rates, it is estimated that the prevalence of autism could reach four million Americans in the next decade.
Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys (and does not go away when they become adults)
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), a category of neurological disorders characterized by "severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development", including social interaction and communications skills.
The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves from mild to severe. The age that most children start showing symptoms of autism is between 18 and 24 months.
Since autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as 18 months of age, intervention can begin during the period when the brain is most malleable.
Early intervention can result in a significant increase in IQ and language ability and a decrease in support services needed later in childhood.
Family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence.
Autism know s no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.
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 2010 NIH budget: $35.6 billion
Of this, only $218 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.6% of total NIH funding (not even 1%)