More on Autism

by Genetta Adair

  • Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University.
  • More than 1.5 million Americans are affected by autism.
  • One in every 150 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. Ten years ago, it was one in 2,500, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When all autism spectrum disorders are added, those figures rise to one in 60 U.S. individuals being diagnosed.
  • Three out of four children diagnosed with autism are boys.
  • The Autism Society of America, an advocacy organization in Bethesda, Maryland, estimates that every day 50 children in the United States are diagnosed with a form of autism.
  • Autism is the third most common developmental disability, more common than Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
  • Autism is not a psychological disorder.
  • With appropriate intensive early intervention, a large majority of autistic children can recover enough to be mainstreamed in school. They can develop friendships, ultimately hold jobs, and have good prospects of a normal life. Those who cannot aspire to this standard of recovery will still improve with treatment.
  • Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with autism and other developmental disorders are eligible for education appropriate to their needs. IDEA recognizes that expenses associated with providing for the special needs of children with disabilities are a public responsibility.Information about the Autism Solution Center (ASC) may be found at

— Genetta Adair


“Aid for Autism,” by C. A. Garland and Brenda Harris, Baltimore Sun (1/25/05)

Autism Society of America (

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

American Academy of Pediatricians (

Medical Assistant Schools

Music As Therapy for Autistic Children*

U.S. Department of Education (

“Guide to Frequently Asked Questions,” Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  (2/17/05)

*Link suggested by Julie at Newman Elementary.