prevalence of autism

Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 150 births (Centers for Disease Control Prevention, 2007). Roughly translated, this means as many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism. And this number is on the rise.

Based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies, autism is growing at a startling rate of 10-17 percent per year. At this rate, the ASA estimates that the prevalence of autism could reach 4 million Americans in the next decade.

United States Facts:
• A new case of autism is diagnosed nearly every 20 minutes 
• Autism is 4 times more prevalent in boys than girls
• There are 24,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. per year 
• The economic impact of autism is more than $90 billion and expected to more than double 
   in the next decade. 
• Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases. 
• There is no medical detection treatment, or cure for autism.
• AUTISM COMPARED TO OTHER DISABILITIES: Autism is the fastest-growing developmental 
   disability in the U.S. today.

Autism knows no racial, ethnic, social boundaries, family income, lifestyle, or educational levels and can affect any family, and any child.