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Five Facts about Autism

2 childrenAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of conditions categorized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States.

Here are five more facts about autism:

Rate of diagnosis is on the rise: The rate of autism diagnoses have increased steadily over the last 20 years, currently affecting one percent of the world’s total population. According to the CDC, approximately one in 68 children in the United States is on the spectrum. 

Boys are more affected than girls: Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to be on the spectrum. In fact, according to a CDC report,  the disorder affects approximately one in 42 boys and only one in 189 girls.

There is no cause: There is no known cause but research suggests the risk of autism can increase based on a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These risk factors include: family history, advanced parental age, extreme premature birth (before 26 weeks) and low birth weight.

Expenses can be costly: Autism Speaks estimates autism can cost families an average of $60,000 per year.  Such costs can typically include special education programs and medical expenses - medical costs for children with autism are estimated to be six times higher than children without. 

There is no cure: There is currently no cure for autism, however there are therapy and support options available. Most treatments involve the help of a combination of specialists including doctors, teachers, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs).

April is Autism Awareness Month and the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) students and faculty will be participating in wearing the color blue and holding a bake sale to raise awareness and funds for autism on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.  According to Autism Speaks, an advocacy group dedicated to advancing understanding and research of the spectrum of disorders, autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the US, now affecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. "The likelihood of our Salus graduates working with children and families impacted by autism continues to grow and this encourages us to spread the word," according to Bob Serianni, Clinical Director of the SLP program and the Chapter Advisor for the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the SLP student group who organized the day.  More information on autism may be found at

The Speech-Language Institute of Salus University also offers a variety of services for children with autism and their families, including bi-weekly autism support group starting in June. For more information on SLI’s services or to schedule an appointment, call 215.780.3150.