Although the percentage of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is high, autism awareness remains a pressing need. As a result, the month of April has been designated Autism Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion, and self-determination for all and assure that people with ASD have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.
“If we want to promote awareness, let’s raise awareness about the challenges and triumphs faced by individuals with autism,” wrote Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the Autism Society.
Today, more than 3 million individuals live with autism. Many adults being diagnosed with ASD were not properly diagnosed as children and are now finding out they have autism.
New data from the CDC found that about 1 in 68 children, or 1.5%, were diagnosed with ASD. Between 2002 and 2010, there was an increase in the number of children identified with ASD, and from 2010 to 2012, there has been no change.
However, the CDC has reported that it is too soon to tell if the percentage of children identified with ASD has actually stabilized or is still increasing. This is because the data is based on information from 11 communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin, and while the average percentage of children identified with ASD stayed the same, the percentage had increased significantly for 2 communities.
According to the Autism Society, there is no defined cause for autism, which means there is no way to link any suggested cause to the incidence rate. In addition, there is no cure for autism.
“More research is also needed on treatment and support interventions to determine what is the best treatment and support that can be provided to individuals on the autism spectrum to best address their desire to increase their quality of life each and every day,” according to the society.