Autism Acceptance Day – April 2, 2016 – Wearing Blue?

Light it up blue

National Autism Acceptance Day, April 2, 2016!

Today is the 8th annual Autism Acceptance Day, so Light it up Blue with your clothing, lighting or sharing information about autism. Autism has great information including tool kits, research and resources about autism to learn or share.

In a recent update from the CDC , statistics show that the incidence of autism has remained stable, with 1 in every 68 children  diagnosed with autism. The incidence of boys with autism continues to remain higher  than that of girls.  While that is good news there is still much more to be done to ensure children with autism are being identified and receiving needed services. Here are five facts identified by the CDC regarding current statistics (as gathered from ):

Five Important Facts to Know

1. The estimated percentage of children with ASD remains high.

About 1 in 68 or 1.5% of children were identified with ASD based on tracking in 11 communities across the United States in 2012.

  • According to previous reports, the percentage of children identified with ASD increased between 2002 and 2010.
  • The new report shows no change between 2010 and 2012 in the percentage of children identified with ASD.

2. It is too soon to tell if the percentage of children identified with ASD is still increasing or has stabilized.

Here are two reasons why it is too soon to tell:

  • While the average percentage of children identified with ASD in all 11 communities stayed the sad with ASD increased significantly between 2010 and 2012.
  • The percentage of children identified with ASD ranged widely by community— in communities where both health and special education records were reviewed, estimates ranged from a low of 1.2% in parts of South Carolina to a high of 2.4% in parts of New Jersey.

CDC will continue to track ASD over time so as to better understand if the percentage of children identified with ASD is staying the same or continuing to increase.

3. Children identified with ASD are not receiving comprehensive developmental evaluations1 as early as they could be.

Most children identified with ASD had concerns about their development noted in their health and/or special education records by age 3 years. Yet, less than half of children with ASD received a comprehensive developmental evaluation by this same age. A lag between first concern and first comprehensive developmental evaluation may affect when children are being diagnosed and connected to the services they need.

4. Black and Hispanic children are less likely to be identified with ASD. Those that are identified with ASD receive comprehensive developmental evaluations later than white children who are identified with ASD.

Previous research has not shown that black or Hispanic children have a lower risk than white children to develop ASD. However, since ADDM data showed that black and Hispanic children were less likely to be identified with ASD, it is possible that these children face socioeconomic or other barriers resulting in a lack of or delayed access to evaluation, diagnosis, and services.

5. Schools play a vital role in evaluating and serving children with ASD.

The percentage of children identified with ASD was highest in all communities combined where both health and special education records were reviewed compared to all communities combined where only health records were reviewed.

What can we do?

Awareness, education, and intervention are important at early ages. Many resources are available to assist with awareness and education:

  • Learn the Signs. Act Early. A free handout from the CDC provides basic information on Autism Spectrum Disorder to help with awareness.
  • The CDC also provides additional information on topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorder ,   such as statistics, research articles and interventions.
  • Autism  also has extensive resources on the topic of autism for identification, intervention, transition, employment, research, programs and toolkits.
  • Autism Society provides resources and research information.
  • Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence provides outstanding information and resources through online learning modules, assessment,  best practices and implementation of best practices on the topic of autism.

So Light It Up Blue! –  create an awareness and acceptance of autism today!

Light it up blue bulb

Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology




About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
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