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Life and Death

on September 7, 2011

Facts about Autism

Did you know …

  • Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

When my son was first diagnosed, I read the facts about Autism above, then studied the statistics below about how much funding went toward research for this overwhelmingly prevalent disorder that seems to be increasing every year. Though the facts have changed a little ( both private & government funding has increased a bit), the numbers are staggeringly sad when it comes to our children on the spectrum.

I have often said that I am in no way attempting to undermine the need for research and funding for children who have diseases like cancer, which could cause early death. But what about LIFE? What about my son’s quality of life, and the future of others like him? What about these children becoming adults in this world without the proper care they need to improve the quality of their existence?

What about the crippling rate at which Autism is rising every year? What about the numbers below, which show how much more prevalent Autism is than many of the other childhood diseases/disorders known to us?

What about research for what causes Autism? Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? I know money is tight for everyone, but perhaps the “powers that be” should consider the ratios involved and at least throw a little extra money towards finding out how we can prevent ASD in the future…?

Childhood diseases are scary. Death is scarier…we don’t want to lose our kids. But again, I say, what about their qualities of LIFE? Think about it.

Prevalence vs. Private Funding

  • Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
  • Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
  • Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 300 / Funding: $394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
  • Autism: Affects 1 in 110 / Funding: $79 million

National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation

  • Total 2010 NIH budget: $35.6 billion
  • Of this, only $218 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.6% of total NIH funding.



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