Buildings across the globe will glow blue tonight to shine a light on “World Autism Awareness Day.” It’s the beginning of a month full of events to elevate conversation and education about the developmental disorders.
The latest report on autism in the U.S. shows a 30 percent jump among 8-year-olds diagnosed with the disorder in a two-year period, to one in every 68 children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the survey, says the numbers reflect more awareness and diagnosis of kids who would have been missed in years past. And the CDC noted that the numbers vary greatly from state to state. It did not use a nationally representative sample, only studying children in 11 states.
Sara Wilson, Executive Director of Autism Speaks, says one of the organization’s key missions is to educate the public, often dispelling misconceptions about autism.
“40 percent of folks diagnosed with autism actually have average or above average or supreme intelligence, which is just phenomenal,” said Wilson.
Wilson said it costs a family an average $60,000 each year to care for a child with autism.
Truluck’s is sponsoring a charity golf tournament to help raise money for Autism Speaks.
“This is a societal problem. Autism is much more than a family problem; it’s a community issue,” said Truluck’s operating partner, David Tripoli. “These children, as they age, they need to be cared for as their parents pass on. Or they need to be trained to be contributing members of society. They’re going to take a lot of attention and it’s up to us as a community to make this happen.”
The Truluck’s Bad Pants Open is Monday, April 14 at River Place Country Club. Registration is still open. KXAN’s Brian Sanders will serve as the emcee of the event.