Top 20 Facts About Autism You Need to Know

Here are some facts about autism that Autism Speaks has brought to the forefront:

1. The number of people discovered to have autism has grown rapidly over the past 10 years.

In 2005, the number of people diagnosed with autism was only one in 166. Ten years later, the number of people who have been diagnosed with the condition has grown to one in 68, more than a 100% increase over the past decade.

2. Direct screening studies suggest that the number of people with autism may be higher than one in 68.

In a recent study conducted in South Korea, Autism Speaks-funded researchers discovered that every one in 38 children had autism. Most of these children had not been diagnosed before this study. The organization is now negotiating with the CDC in the US to perform a similar study using direct screening in United States classrooms.

3. Reliable diagnoses of autism in children can be made by the age of two.

Earlier diagnosis and subsequent intervention can improve outcomes. Autism Speaks is making early screening available to more people, particularly among communities that have been underserved in years past.

4. With a top-quality early intervention, a child’s brain development and brain activity can show improvement over time.

Because there is a degree of plasticity in the brain, the earlier the intervention, the better the chance that it will have a positive impact on the brain’s development. On a practical level, such interventions will help reduce the need-and the subsequent cost-of extensive behavioral and educational support during childhood.

5. For people with autism, behavioral therapy can change their lives for the better.

Research shows solid evidence of the benefits of behavioral therapy. With this evidence, Autism Speaks has been able to push through new laws in 38 states that mandate that healthcare coverage pays for the costs of behavioral therapy for people with autism. Those people and their families, once denied needed treatment, are now making progress.

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