Autism Cares

Prepare for a mouthful: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FY 2019-2023 Report to Congress on Activities Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities Under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act (Autism CARES Act) of 2019 has been released.

The annual report is required by the Autism CARES Act of 2019, which allocated $1.8 billion for autism research, education, and training programs through 2024 and is now up for reauthorization. The report describes the autism-related activities of over 25 federal departments, agencies, divisions, and offices between fiscal years 2019 to 2023.

Interesting findings include:

  • Approximately 2.8% of children in the U.S. have autism.
  • The percentage of children reported to have autism in the United States has increased by 12-fold from 1999.
  • For the first time, autism prevalence in Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander children was higher than in White children, suggesting that awareness, identification, and access to services is improving in those communities, though it is important to consider other factors that may be leading to higher rates of ASD in historically underserved communities.
  • Research funded and conducted by several federal departments and agencies have also led to increased knowledge of autism’s underlying biology and the genetic and environmental factors that can contribute to the development of autism.

You can read the whole report here.

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