Autism Fast Facts

  • Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that occurs in children regardless of race or their socio-economic back round. Boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
  • Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate. It is characterized by absent or severely limited language development, social deficits, obsessively rigid routines and repetitive behavior.
  • There will be more children diagnosed with Autism this year than with Cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.
  • 1 in every 100 children born in South Carolina will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder according to the latest report released from the CDC last month. Considering our population and birth rate, that equates to 620 new cases of autism a year in our state. In the United States, 67 children are diagnosed with Autism EVERY DAY. That is 1 case every 20 minutes.
  • 1 in 80 boys are on the Autism Spectrum.
  • Currently, South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs estimates there are approximately 7,700 children with Autism in South Carolina.
  • Autism Disorder is usually diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 3. In South Carolina, the average age of diagnosis is 5.5 years old.
  • Autism has no known cause and there is no cure, however there are treatments available. Early intensive intervention is crucial in order to achieve the best results with behavioral therapy.
  • Children who are not diagnosed in a timely manner or who do not receive sufficient medical intervention will most likely become wards of the state, unable to function and live independently. They can even end up incarcerated.
  • The average cost of early intensive intervention that is evidence based and peer reviewed, namely Applied Behavior Analysis, is approximately $60,000 - $75,000.00 per child in South Carolina. The cost of institutionalization, according to Medicaid, is $4.3 million - $7.2 million per child over the course of their lifetime.
  • In South Carolina, insurance companies will begin covering early intensive intervention in July, 2008. Until then children with autism who are diagnosed before the age of 8 but who are not older than 10, may apply for the Medicaid Pervasive Development Disorder waiver which is currently being administered by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
  • Unlike many adults with the neurological diseases, if a child with autism receives intensive early intervention through Applied Behavior Analysis, a child has a 47% chance of being mainstreamed into a general education classroom, indistinguishable among his peers.
  • ABA therapy is the only medical treatment recommended by the US Surgeon General.