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Need for Better Autism Treatments, Research and Services

  • Published: 2011-04-02 (Revised/Updated 2011-04-03) : Author: National Autism Association
  • Synopsis: The National Autism Association (NAA) joins with organizations worldwide in recognizing April as Autism Awareness month.

NAA Says Autism Awareness Month Points out Need for Better Treatments, Research and Services - Autism is a national health emergency, now affecting nearly 1% of America's children.

The National Autism Association (NAA) joins with organizations worldwide in recognizing April as Autism Awareness month.

With one in 110 children now diagnosed with autism, and autism mortality rates doubling that of the general population,(1) NAA is once again calling upon legislators and government health agencies to declare autism a national health emergency.

Parents of children diagnosed with autism are asking for more research funding, better services, and wider access to safety equipment including tracking devices.

"If you don't have a family member affected by autism, chances are you have a friend or neighbor who does," said NAA board chair Lori McIlwain. Citing a 2007 Harvard study(2) putting the lifetime care cost at $3.2 million per individual with autism needing round the clock care, Ms. McIlwain observed, "If we don't find better treatments and services, it will fall upon taxpayers to address the needs of an overwhelming number of children whose parents will one day be unable to care for them."

NAA points out the following critical areas that need to be addressed on behalf of children and families affected by autism:




"Autism is a national health emergency. Our hope is that the government will finally declare it as such so that proper prevention, treatments and resources will be put in place," says NAA Executive Director Rita Shreffler. "Immediate action is necessary for our community and for the public in general. The numbers are so huge now that autism really does impact each and every one of us."

For more information about autism, visit

1 Mouridsen SE, Bronnum-Hansen H, Rich B, Isager T. Mortality and causes of death in ASD: an update Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. July 2008

2 Ganz, ML. The lifetime distribution of the incremental societal costs of autism. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2007 April 16.

3 Hewitson L, Houser LA, et al. Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight. 2009 Oct 2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX 78746, United States

4 Gallagher, C., Goodman, M. Hepatitis B Triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, Vol. 90, No. 5, September-October 2008, 997-1008.

5 Gallagher, C., Goodman, M. Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism. Annals of Epidemiology, Volume 19, Issue 9, Pages 659-659

6 Ratajczak ,HV. Theoretical aspects of autism: causes--a review. Journal of Immunotoxicology, 2011 Jan-Mar;8(1):68-79.

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