Prevalence of autism
- According to 2018 data, approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the CDC, this number will rise to 1 in 45 by 2021.
- One-in-27 boys has been diagnosed with autism by their second birthday.
- One out of every 116 females was identified with autism.
- Boys are four times more likely to be identified with autism than girls.
- Although diagnoses of children aged four and older were still made, autism can generally be detected as early as age two.
- According to studies, about 25% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability (IQ <70), 25% are in the borderline range (IQ 71–85), and 44% have IQ scores in the average to above-average range (i.e., >85).
- All ethnic and economic groups are affected by autism..
- Minority groups are frequently diagnosed later and less often.
- The best time to start assisting children’s healthy growth and providing benefits throughout their lives is early on.
- There is no known medical test for autism.
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What is the cause of autism?
- According to studies, genetics are involved in the vast majority of cases.
- Children with older parents are more likely to have autism.
- Children with an ASD have a 2 to 18 percent chance of having another one who is likewise afflicted.
- Among identical twins, if one has autism, the other is affected about 36 to 95 percent of the time, according to studies. If one twin has autism, chances are that the other will as well 31 percent of the time in non-identical twins.
- Over the past two decades, much study has sought for any relationship between childhood immunizations and autism. The findings of this research are indisputable: vaccines do not cause autism.
Interventions and Supports
- Early intervention may assist with learning, communication, and social skills as well as early brain development.
- The most studied and most widely used behavioral therapies for autism are based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
- Other therapies, such as speech and occupational therapy, can also help many children with autism.
- Developmental regression, or the loss of abilities such as language and social interests, affects one in five children who will be diagnosed with autism and occurs between the ages of 1 and 3.
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Obstacles to Overcome
- Nonverbal individuals make up approximately 40% of persons on the autism spectrum.
- 25% of children with ASD are in the border range (IQ 71–85), indicating that they have a good probability of demonstrating intellectual disability. According to estimates, about 30% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability (intelligence quotient [IQ] less than 70) and face significant problems in daily function.
- That’s why it is critical that parents and caregivers ensure their kids are safe while they’re out of the house. A significant number of individuals with autism, however, flee or bolt from safety.
- Bullying affects nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15.
- Self-injurious behaviors are common in children with ASD, affecting almost 28% of those aged 8 years old. Among the most typical self-injurious behaviors are head banging and arm biting.
- Drowning is the most common cause of death among kids with autism, accounting for approximately 90% of deaths linked to wandering or bolt by those under the age of 14.
Medical and mental health issues caused by non-medical factors
- It’s possible that autism affects the whole body.
- ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects 30 to 61 percent of children with autism.
- Children with autism have a 46 percent chance of having one or more chronic sleep issues.
- Anxiety disorders affect 11 to 40 percent of children and teenagers on the autism spectrum.
- According to studies, approximately 7% of youngsters and 26% of persons on the autism spectrum experience depression.
- Children with autism are almost eight times more likely to have one or more chronic gastrointestinal diseases than other children.
- Epilepsy affects up to a third of persons with autism (seizure disorder).
- According to studies, between 4 and 35 percent of persons on the autism spectrum suffer from schizophrenia. In contrast, schizophrenia affects around 1.1% of the general population.
- Obesity can negatively impact a person’s quality of life throughout their lifetime, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. From toddlers to seniors, individuals with autism face numerous health issues related to their condition. Overweight and obese rates are significantly higher among 2- to 5-year-olds with autism (32 percent) than among 2- to 5-year
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs for the treatment of irritability and agitation in children with autism: risperidone and aripiprazole. The only FDA-approved medicines for this condition are risperidone and aripiprazole.
Caregiver & Family
- The cost of dealing with an autistic child is about $60,000 per year during childhood, with the bulk of the expenses going to special services and missed earnings as a result of greater demands on one or both parents. Costs rise as intellectual disability progresses.
- Mothers of children with ASD, who frequently act as the child’s case manager and protector, are less likely to work full-time outside the house. They work fewer hours each week on average and make 56% less than mothers of kids without health restrictions, and 35% less than mothers of children with other conditions or impairments.
Treatments for Adult Onset Autism
- Over the next decade, an estimated 707,000 to 1,116,000 teens born in 2000 will reach adulthood and lose access to special education services.
- Teens with autism receive healthcare transition services only half as frequently as other special healthcare needs. Even fewer young people with both autism and medical issues are eligible for transition assistance.
- For years after they stop seeing a pediatrician, many young people with autism go without any medical care.
- In the two years after high school, more than half of young people with autism are unemployed and unenrolled in higher education. This is a lower rate than that seen among other disability categories such as learning difficulties, intellectual disability, or speech-language impairment..
- Only 60% of the nearly 18,000 persons with autism who utilized state-funded vocational rehabilitation programs in 2014 obtained employment following treatment. Of these, 80% worked part-time at a median weekly rate of $160, putting them far below the poverty line.
- Only half of 25-year-olds with autism have ever held a paid job, according to survey data.
- Job activities that promote independence reduce autism symptoms and improve everyday living skills, according to research.
Economic Costs and Benefits
- The cost of caring for people with autism had hit $268 billion in 2015 and would double to $461 billion without more-effective treatments and support over the course of their life.
- Adult services account for the majority of autism costs in the United States, about $175 to $196 billion a year, compared to less than $61 to $66 billion per year for children.
- Medical expenditures were 4.1 to 6.2 times greater on average for children and adolescents with ASD than those without, according to one study.
- The 2014 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which passed in December, allows states to create tax-preferred savings accounts for persons with disabilities, such as autism.
- Passage of autism insurance legislation in all 50 states has resulted in greater access to medical care and therapies.