Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Startling New Autism Rate

1 in 88

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its rate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined. (according to Autism Speaks)

Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks, states:
"Autism can now officially be declared an epidemic in the United States.We are dealing with a national emergency that is in need of a national strategy. At 1 in 88, we now have over 1 million children directly affected by autism. According to a newly released study the annual cost of autism in the United States is a staggering $126 billion annually, more than tripling the cost analysis from six years ago. Behind all these statistics are real families, real individuals struggling each and every day...

Ultimately the question we need to ask ourselves is why over the last two decades has there been such a tremendous increase in autism? Dr. Peter Bearman of Columbia University was funded by the NIH to answer this very question. His findings have revealed that the increase in prevalence is only partly explained by a broadening of the diagnosis, improved detection, and more awareness. A large portion of the increase some 50% remains unexplained. That is why we must aggressively fund research, including the critical study of potential environmental factors. We need to find the answers. "