The Centers for Disease Control now estimates that one in every 166 American children is born with autism. That adds up to a lot of kids, grandkids, neighbors, schoolmates. What was once considered rare can now look like an epidemic, cause still unknown.
Autism and autistic children challenge even the most loving families and caring schools. Now, a big new generation of autistic kids is moving into adulthood, and huge uncertainties about how they will live.
In Washington, the fur is flying over how the country will fund research and care. And the family touched directly may be your own.
This hour On Point: from Capitol Hill to every neighborhood, confronting the tide of autism.
Quotes from the Show:
"There're a lot of issues parents have to deal with as autistic children become adults." Julie Scelfo
"The new legislation in Congress proposes more money toward autism research." Julie Scelfo
"Early diagnosis and early intervention is very important for treating autism." Alison Singer
"Teenagers and adults with Asperger's are often expected to navigate the social world in ways that are very challenging for them." Alison Singer
"We're facing a crisis not just in autism but in the area of developmental disorders." Pat Levitt
Julie Scelfo, assistant editor at Newsweek Magazine. She is co-author of last week's cover story "What Happens When They Grow Up.";
Pat Levitt, director of Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University, where he is also a professor of pharmacology.;
Alison Singer, Senior Vice President, Autism Speaks, which raises funds for research;
Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings Institution. He wrote an op-ed with his wife in last Tuesday's New York Times titled "Studying Autism Isn't Enough."
This program aired on November 27, 2006.