1 in 66 Canadian children and youth aged five to 17 are on the autism spectrum, indicates a new report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada. In the greater Edmonton area, it's estimated that over 22,000 families are directly affected by autism.
Autism doesn't discriminate. ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. ASD is almost five times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).
Improved monitoring and reporting has uncovered a steady increase in rates over the past few decades. For example, in 1992, autism was identified in only 1 out of every 150 children. With increasing rates of diagnosis, there is a growing need for information and support in order to manage this complex disorder.
Fortunately, it is evident that through early intervention, focused engagement, and the continued practicing of skills - people with autism can increase their ability to communicate and interact with their community and surroundings.
Click on any of the buttons below to learn more about autism and its features, or to find out how you can get involved in local research related to autism.