April is National Autism Awareness Month. And today is World Autism Awareness Day. Below is some general information about autism, including a definition, some poignant facts, and links to resources for art therapy and autism. You can read about how kids with autism become “Kids With Cameras” and how an artist with autism can draw entire cities from memory. You can also read a great article about how art therapy helps people with autism.
From the Autism Society of America (ASA), a definition of autism:
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.
- Autism affects approximately 1 out of every 150 children and 1 out of every 94 boys.
- It is estimated that between 1 and 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism with a 10-17% annual growth.
- Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world.
- Growth comparison in the 90’s: a) U.S. population increased by 13%, b) Diabetes increased by 16%, and c) autism increased by 172%.
- More children will be diagnosed with autism in 2008 than with diabetes, cancer, & AIDS combined.
- Autism is 4 times more prevalent with boys than girls.
- There is currently no way to medically detect or cure autism, but early diagnosis and intervention can improve the outcome and reduce the cost of lifelong care by approximately two-thirds.
- Anyone from any background, ethnicity, or geographic location, can have autism.