If the current autism statistics are something to go by, then stakeholders should really be concerned about the implications this disorder will have on our communities. Autism is one of the rare conditions classified under a group of disorders referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This disorder is pervasive in nature and the severity of ASD varies. Children who are affected by this disorder exhibit a range of deficiencies in social interaction and communication.
As of now, it is not known what causes autism, but current studies indicate that genetic factors and interactions with the environment play a supportive role in causing this disorder. Interestingly, while some forms of autism are more debilitating, others like the Asperger’s syndrome are mild.
Statistics on the Occurrence of Autism
A survey report released by the Center for Disease Control( CDC) in March 2012 shows that the occurrence of autism in the US stood at 1 in 88 children. This shows a significant rise from the autism statistics unveiled by the Paediatrics Report (2009) which showed the occurrence at 1 in 91 children.
Generally, it is estimated that nearly 1.5 million people live with autism in the US though autism statistics 2011 does not explain the correlation between autism and race. However, current studies show a strong correlation between occurrence of autism in children and their corresponding race.
Children from white families had an occurrence rate of 1 in 101 (the highest), followed by blacks with a rate of 1 in 139. Hispanic children were the least affected with an occurrence rate of 1 in 170. As for sex, boys are 4 times more likely to develop autism than girls.
From the autism statistics indicated above, it is apparent that Autism figures are growing. In fact, this considered to be one of the fasted growing developmental disorders in the US. It is also expected that more children will be diagnosed with this disorder than diseases such as cancer diabetes, or AIDS combined.
Statistics on Autism Research and Medication
It is estimated that more than $137 billion is spent on autism in the US each year. This figure is expected to rise in the coming decade. The government appropriates 5% or $269 million of these funds towards research in autism and other less common childhood disorders.
Apparently, statistics on autism does not shed light on effective medical methods of detecting and curing autism. Even so, there is a strong consensus among health care experts that children who go for early diagnosis respond positively to treatment (if the condition is detected early).
It has also been found that 9 out of 10 school going children with special health needs use at least one form of intervention therapy. Still, about 50% of these kids used psychotropic medication while 33% of them used stimulant medications. In addition, 3 out of 5 or 60% of the children with autism were enrolled in social skills training and language therapy courses.
Lastly, autism statistics do not shed light on the reason for the prevalence of autism. Some experts suggest that the condition can be diagnosed easily than in the past. Still, there is an assumption that certain cases of mental retardation are coded as autism, but this does not hold true.
The bottom line is that autism is a serious condition with far reaching implications for families and victims who are affected.