Monday, August 24, 2015

Autism Update

With the new school year arriving, I have had little time to get out this plethora of information I hold from the conference I attended in Southern California. So, I thought I would start with a few facts and figures which headed off the keynote speaker on day one.

Facts & Figures

  • Over 1.77 million cases of autism in the US
  • New cases are diagnosed every 20 minutes
  • Estimated 1 in 68 children, possible as high as 1 in 50
  • 1 in 42 boys on average as high as 1 in 12
  • Boys are 5x more likely than girls
  • Autism is the fastest growing disability in the US
  • Costs of 126 billion annually
  • 2.3 million dollars to care for an individual with autism over their lifetime

Staggering isn't it?

****If you know anyone planning on getting pregnant in the future, you may want to pass on this bit of information too:

Folic acid taken pre-pregnancy and for the 1st 2 months of pregnancy can reduce autism rates by 40%. Also ASD moms should have their homocysteine levels taken. Mothers of autistic children show higher levels. They should have blood workup done before getting pregnant again. Elevated levels also showed a risk factor of heart disease and blood clots.

There was also talk of a medication that seems promising in reducing autism like symptoms in mice (for up to 8 weeks) and according to our key note speaker they will begin human trials in the next few weeks. You can Google Prof. Robert Naviaux if you want to learn more on this.

Is anyone else worried about the rise in autism and what this means for the future? 1 in 68 children??? The amount of kids with autism that have entered our program alone in the last 5 years is staggering. Are there enough adult programs set up for them? What's the plan? I don't feel like this is being taken seriously and I worry that our kids will not have the adequate resources available to them as they age out of the school system. Who's going to fit the bill? 

So many questions, so very few answers. 

I have many more things I want to talk about regarding this conference and will try really hard to find time in the next couple weeks to get it down in writing for you! I feel like there are not enough hours in the day lately!

Hope you year is starting out amazing!! I know mine is!


  1. My year hasn't started yet, I've still got one more week before I start, and a little over 2 before kids start. Those are interesting facts. Did he talk about reasons for the increase? I had heard they were doing research on pesticides, but I know there are other causes they are also researching. Looking forward to reading your updates.

  2. This is probably the first Autism conference I have been to that did NOT mention possible reasons Jannike. Just that the homocysteine levels were high in ASD moms (and could be brought down for future children), and folic acid played a big role in the decrease. Probably a good idea to pre-plan for pregnancies in this day and time.