We need to move beyond Autism Awareness Day to Autism “Action” Day. This is Jack on the cover of the Arizona Republic at the end of 2009. At that time autism rates had increased 95% over 4 years in AZ. The national diagnosis rate was estimated to be 1 in 110. Fast forward 9 years later and the CDC estimates increased to 1 in 59. More recent estimates are 1 in 47!!! How is this not considered our country’s most pressing health crisis?
We need answers! We need solutions! We need action! Autism is EXPENSIVE. As the cost of healthcare soars, so does the cost of therapies and treatments. Families are going broke. We are exhausting college funds. We are draining retirement accounts. What happens when our kids grow up? What happens when those who cannot live independently live out their adult lives with their aging parents? Even worse, what happens when we’re gone?
It’s estimated that supporting an individual with autism is $2.4 million over their lifetime. While the financial toll on society and parents is staggering, the emotional toll on families is beyond measure. So hopefully you’ll understand why I don’t get super excited about “World Autism Awareness Day” or “Autism Awareness Month” for the whole month of April. I’m just saying that autism is more than a day. Autism is more than a month. Autism is everyday for a lifetime. In the words of The King, “…a little less conversation, more action please!”
#BeyondAutismAwareness #AutismNeedsAction #AutismIsEveryDay