Decoding Autism with Sara Lee Kessler

1% of American children, ages 3-17, are now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

That makes autism the fastest-growing developmental disability.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the national prevalence rate is 1 in 110.

It was 1 in 150 in 2007.

New Jersey has the highest autism prevalence rate in the nation:  1 in 94.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are four times more common in boys than in girls.

Nationally, it affects an average of 1 in 70 boys and 1 in 315 girls.

There are 5 types of autism:  Classic Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PPD-NOS) and Rett Syndrome.

An estimated 1.5-million Americans are living with ASD.

There is no one single cause of autism, but, most scientists believe it’s likely that both genetics and the environment play a role.

If one identical twin has autism, there’s a 90% chance that the other will be affected, too, although not necessarily as severely or in the same way.

Autism typically appears in the first three years of life.

It affects language skills, social development, empathy and often IQ.

ASD red flags can include poor eye contact, spoken language delays, hand-flapping, toe-walking.

The median age of diagnosis is 4.5 to 5.5 years.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autism screening at 18-months & 24-months.

There is no cure for autism, but early intervention that includes a highly-structured, intensive skill-oriented program, like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), can lessen the severity of the disorder.

According to the CDC, 40% of children with autism spectrum disorders do not speak.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 20 to 30% of children with ASD will develop seizures.

According to a 2007 Harvard School of Public Health study, the lifetime cost of caring for an individual with autism is $3.2 million.

Fast Facts & Figures

Fast Facts & Figures

Fast Facts & Figures

Fast Facts & Figures

Support for the Decoding Autism website is made possible by Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization.