One in every 68 children in the United States has autism. We don’t know what causes it or how to cure it.
But there’s hope. And it starts with early intervention.
Autism is everywhere.
In the United States it affects more children than diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and Down syndrome combined.
It is the fastest growing developmental disability in our country with an average 15% increase in the number of children diagnosed every year since 2000.
Autism is expensive.
Autism costs the average individual $3.2 million in his or her lifetime. In 2015 autism cost the US economy $265 billion. Projected costs would grow to more than $1 trillion by 2025 if prevalence continues to rise at rates seen over last decade.
Autism is exhausting.
Having a child with autism is an emotional, physical, and financial feat. Parents of children with autism have additional expenses that can turn a middle-income family into a low-income family in a matter of months.
Unfortunately, poverty amongst families who have children with autism is growing at a rapid rate. Mothers are usually affected the most, earning an average of 50% less if they have a child with autism. Caring for their child requires them to significantly reduce the time and energy they are able to spend earning income, pursuing an education, or caring for the rest of the family. This also leads to a much higher divorce rate.
There is HOPE!
When children with autism get early intervention services (treatment and therapy before they turn three) their futures can be transformed.
Early intervention improves children’s IQ’s and their ability to do daily living activities. And —in certain cases—it even prevents the disorder from manifesting at all.
Early intervention has been proven to reduce the $3.2 million lifetime cost of autism by 2/3.
Early intervention gives children the opportunity to be contributing members of their families and society.