April 1st marks the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month–a month where you can help increase awareness and educate the public on autism. Here are some important facts from AutismSpeaks.org:
- Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys
- Autism prevalence figures are growing
- More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
- Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
- Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
- Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
- Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism
One of the best ways to help is to get together a group of friends or family and participate in an Autism Awareness Run or Walk in your community. Walk Now for Autism Speaks has a great locator where you can search for a Walk Event, specific Walker or Team. If there are no community activities in your area, you can always donate money or volunteer your time toward the cause. Always remember that no matter how you choose to help, every little bit counts.