How To Tell If Your 3 Year Old Has Autism Autism Statistics Information

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Autism Statistics Information

This growing awareness of the disorder has led to an increase in information and support available to parents. So what are the latest autism statistics?

Who is Affected

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) prepared a summary of the latest statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reports that approximately 1 million people in the United States have autism. About 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism. Because boys are diagnosed more often than women, which translates into 1 in 94 males.

Every 20 minutes, a new case of autism is diagnosed; approximately 24,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. In the state of California, approximately 7 out of 10 children diagnosed with autism are under the age of 14.

Economic impact and funding

The economic impact of autism is estimated at more than $90 billion and is expected to more than double in the next decade. It is the fastest growing developmental disability in America.

How does the diagnostic fee affect funding? In the late 1990s, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) allocated only $5 million in autism research. Today, NIH funding for autism, which affects 1 in 150, is $15 million. In comparison, leukemia, which occurs in 1 in 25,000 children, receives $300 million in research funds. Muscular dystrophy, which affects 1 in 20,000, receives $160 million; cystic fibrosis, which affects 1 in 5,000, receives $75 million; and juvenile diabetes, which affects 1 in 500, receives $140 million.

Increase Diagnoses

According to David Kirby, author of Evidence of Harm, in the 1980s, 1 to 2 per 10,000 children in the United States were diagnosed with autism. This number increased to 20 per 10,000 in the late 1990s. In 2000, the number increased to 40 in 10,000, and in 2004, it returned to 60 in 10,000.

The cause of the increase is the subject of debate

Researchers are not clear if this increase is due to an actual increase in cases or better diagnosis. An argument against increasing diagnostic accuracy is that Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and mental retardation diagnosis rates have remained the same.

Regardless of the reason for the increase in numbers, autism cases in the United States are increasing, and funding for research does not seem to have kept up with this increase. The director of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, notes that “”Our estimates have become better and more consistent, although we cannot yet say whether there is a real increase in [autism spectrum disorders] or if the changes are the result of our better studies. We know, however, that these disorders affect too many children.”

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