Autism Spectrum Disorder (also called ASD or autism) is a range of conditions which is typically characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non-verbal communication, and unique strengths and differences. There is no known cause or cure for ASD.
This new report indicates 1 in 59 children in the United States have ASD. This data is based on surveys and information collected from medical and educational records of 325,483 8-year-old children in 11 sites around the country. This represents a 16% increase from the previous report released two years ago, which had a 1 in 68 ratio. Boys are diagnosed more than girls by 4 to 1, according to the study, which is relatively unchanged versus the prior report.
Prevalence among white children was 7% greater than that of black children, and 22% greater among Hispanic children, which shows a narrowing gap of prevalence versus the previous report, which was at 20% and 50% greater, respectively. Experts attribute this decrease to a rise in advocacy, awareness, and access to care within the community.
Whereas there is no known cure, experts agree with early diagnosis and intervention, the characteristics of autism can be greatly minimized and the chance to thrive drastically improves. With increased awareness and advocacy, people can recognize the signs of ASD sooner. Another fact is that treatments, including: occupational, speech, and ABA therapy, with a host of doctors is expensive. The average annual cost to care for a child with ASD is $60,000 with a lifetime cost up to $2.4 million. Hope For Three, a local non profit and autism advocacy group, provides financial help to families in Fort Bend County, with children on the spectrum. With more than 3,000 ASD students in public schools alone, the demand is great.
You can impact a child with autism directly by giving a gift today. Please visit hopeforthree.org or call 281-245-0640. There are many opportunities to volunteer and valuable resources available on our website. Hope For Three. Autism Advocates. Providing Help. Creating Hope. Since 2011.