Blog #91~Autism Statistics: 1 in 68 Children
As most people know, April is Autism Awareness Month. Just a few weeks ago came the sobering news that 1 in 68 children in the US have autism (according to estimates from CDC’s March 2014 study).
Take a look at how the numbers have increased over the years…..
The new statistics represent a 30 percent increase from the 2012 estimates of 1 in 88 children with autism. Why are the numbers growing so rapidly? Some speculate that it’s because the diagnostic methods which have improved over the years. I find it hard to believe that this is the only reason that the numbers are increasing. According to TACA (Talk About Curing Autism (www.tacanow.org), “More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. In addition, autism costs the nation over $137 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade.”
Autism has no single, known cause. There have been numerous studies linking autism to a wide variety of genetic and environmental factors. There have been several studies linking vaccines to autism and many parents who feel strongly that this was the case with their children.
Here’s the bottom line, there is a generation of children and their families who have been severely affected by autism. These children, like my son Nick are growing up and becoming adults.
Nick age 20……
Children and adults with autism are out in the community full force, with even more coming behind us. It’s time for a comprehensive national strategy. We need leadership to help us find answers for causes, treatment, solutions and resources for people who live with autism. We need compassion when we are out in the community struggling with our kids who make loud noises, flap their hands and have knock down drag out meltdowns. Changing the light bulb blue to promote autism awareness isn’t going to help make things better for the lives of those affected by autism.
It’s time to send a loud message to Washington that the needs of the autism community are growing rapidly and the resources are limited, (not to mention the family bathrooms). I worry that when my son ages out of the school system at age 22, he’ll be stuck on a waiting list because there aren’t enough facilities available for community work, leisure and a secure group home. I am not alone here; there are almost two million others in the country who go to bed each night with the same concerns. That’s what is in my noggin this week.