Here are some facts and statistics about autism, from the Autism Speaks website:
- 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.
Signs of autism appear in the first three years of life. As you navigate through your baby’s childhood, there are so-called Red Flags of autism you can be aware of. These include:
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months or thereafter
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
*Information from Autism Speaks
Visit Autism Speaks to find out some ways in which you can help support people with autism.