What is Autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. One should keep in mind however, that autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees - this is why early diagnosis is so crucial. By learning the signs, a child can begin benefiting from one of the many specialized intervention programs.
Prevalence of Autism
Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 68 births (Centers for Disease Control Prevention, 2014). This number has risen dramatically since 2004, when it was 1 in 125 births. Autism now affects almost 1 in 54 boys.
In June 2014, the estimated lifetime cost of caring for an individual with autism was as much as $2.4 million. The Autism Society estimates that the United States faces $90 billion annually in costs related to autism (including research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, related therapeutic services, and caregiver costs).
Autism knows no racial, ethnic, social boundaries, family income, lifestyle, or educational levels and can affect any family, and any child.
AUTISM IS TREATABLE
above info from Autism Society of America website