Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Here are some key facts and statistics provided by Autismspeaks.org to help raise awareness of this disorder, which affects one in every 88 children.
Autism, part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime.
The disorder affects the brain in different ways and is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities and also by repetitive behaviors.
While one child with Autism may rarely speak and have difficulty learning how to read and write, another can be so high-functioning he's able to attend classes in a mainstream school.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism to be prevalent in 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls) in the U.S.
By comparison, this is more children than are affected by cancer, diabetes, AIDS, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined.
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism. The disease affects 1 in 54 boys.
There is no proven medical detection or cure for autism.
Autism costs the nation $126 billion per year.
$169 million of the National Institutes of Health's budget goes directly to autism research.
Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.