Thanks to you, we are creating a better world for individuals and families living with autism. It's what we do every day at SARRC and it's a privilege. As we recognize April as Autism Awareness Month, we thank you for making our progress possible this past 15 years.
Autism is on the Rise
Population rates of autism have been steadily increasing since 2002 when the Centers for Disease control first investigated autism spectrum disorders. The recently released statistics reported a 23% increase in the population rates of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). With1 in 88 children with autism, Asperger's and Pervasive Development Disorder, our urgency is greater than ever before. In Arizona, those statistics are even higher with 1 in 64 children being diagnosed. While this seems alarming for Arizonans, it can be seen as an indicator that we are better at detecting ASD in Arizona, perhaps better than other states that included data in the report.
Why the increase in overall prevalence? Is it the result of greater awareness or a broader definition? Or are there unexplained reasons why the absolute numbers are on the rise? The answer: all of the above. While we can't entirely explain the rise in rates, we know autism is extremely prevalent and we need to be proactive! SARRC's research and programs promote a better quality of life for current populations and pave the way for the next generation to have an even brighter future.
And that's why SARRC remains rooted in research and in this community. The children, teens, adults and families we serve, and our supporters have all played a major role in strengthening our "roots" and empowering our continued growth. It's our mission to advance discoveries and be there for families from their child's initial diagnosis, through their school years and throughout adulthood.
Here's a sample of how we're working to advance this charge:
SARRC recently opened the Colonel Harland D. Sanders Center for Autism Studies, providing a greater impact on autism while facilitating studies on the ever-increasing number of adults living with autism. We continue to expand our pharmaceutical trials and are one of the top recruitment sites in the country.
SARRC's preschool is receiving more national attention. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized SARRC's Community School as one of the top, most promising programs in the country for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
We are also making substantial strides with our adult programs. More than 65 percent of SARRC's clients are gainfully employed in full and part-time positions, compared to 10 percent nationally.
This April, as we celebrate the accomplishments of all those we serve, consider what you can do:
Learn the facts. Autism is a hot topic lately and statements of conjecture instead of fact can circulate rapidly. These statements can be particularly harmful to families regarding treatment for autism. SARRC promotes intervention strategies based on applied behavior analysis because they are rooted in research. Families need to be careful to investigate the research on a specific treatment approach before spending their valuable time and money. SARRC can help. Call us!
Open a door to the future. Is there someone with autism in your workplace? If you're a business owner, hire someone. People with autism have a lot to offer!
Participate in research! We've learned a lot about autism in the past few decades, but there is a lot more to learn. Contact SARRC to find out how you can help.
To continue achieving daily results, we stay true to our mission and remain grateful to our extraordinary team and generous community of supporters, who share our passion for serving the ever-increasing numbers of those impacted by autism.