2 QUICK FACTS ABOUT AUTISM 1 in 250 births1 to 1.5 million AmericansFastest-growing developmental disability% annual growth
3 QUICK FACTS Growth comparison during the 1990s U.S. population increase: 13%Disabilities increase: 16%Autism increase: 172%
4 QUICK FACTS $90 billion annual cost 90% of costs are in adult services Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and interventionIn 10 years, the annual cost will be $ billion
5 What is Autism?Autism is a complex, life-long biological disorder of development that results in social interaction problems, communication difficulties, and restrictive or repetitive interests and behaviors.The prevalence of autism estimates run from approximately one-in-500 children, to one-in-1000 children, who might be affected by some form of the disorder.
6 What is Autism?Autism can be reliably diagnosed by or before age three.Parents and expert clinicians can usually detect symptoms during infancy, although a formal diagnosis is generally not made until the child fails to develop functional language by age two.Approximately 20 percent of children with autism reportedly experience a "regression"; that is, they have apparently normal development followed by a loss of communication and social skills.
7 What is Autism?Boys are three-to-four times more likely to be affected by autism than girls.Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups.
8 What is Autism?Although there is currently no known cure for autism, autism is treatable.Persons with autism can make progress if they receive appropriate, individual intervention.Pre-school children who receive intensive, individualized, behavioral interventions show remarkable progress.In addition, limited pharmacological interventions are available to treat specific symptoms of autism.
9 What Causes Autism?In the majority of cases, no specific underlying cause can be identified.However, a variety of factors are being investigated:infectious, metabolic, genetic, and environmental factors.
10 What Causes Autism?A working group convened by the NIH (National Institute of Health) in 1995 reached a consensus that autism probably results from a genetic susceptibility that involves multiple genes.
11 What Causes Autism?To date, genetic causes for one disorder commonly accompanied by autism and one autism-spectrum disorder have been identified, Fragile X and Rett syndrome, respectively and genetic "hotspots" for more classic autism have been indicated.Fragile X is the most common, genetically inherited form of mental retardation currently known and produces many of the same behaviors and symptoms as autism.Rett syndrome, which affects only girls, is a progressive brain disease that produces a loss of language/social skills that is similar to autism and is classified as an autism spectrum disorder.
12 What Causes Autism?NIH research on possible genetic, infectious, immunological, and environmental causes and mechanisms of autism is underway.
13 What can you do to help?? http://www.autism-society.org Spread the word, the first step is awareness.April is National Autism Awareness MonthThe Autism Society of America (ASA) can get you started!
14 GET INVOLVED Autism is puzzling doctors and scientists everywhere. But by making more people aware more resources can be organized towards the goalASA offers WRISTBANDS, BUMPER STICKERS, and all sorts of merchandise.Profits go to research for Autism!
15 Submitted by Tyrone Ward, Resident Assistant, Philadelphia University