An article in the Washington Post states, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 36 U.S. children (roughly 2 million) and some 5.4 million adults have autism spectrum disorder.”

When it comes to profound autism, though, some fear that individuals who are nonverbal and intellectually disabled are being left behind. “In a paper in the journal Public Health Reports this year, researchers estimated that nearly 27 percent of 20,000 autistic 8-year-olds whose records they analyzed could be categorized as having profound autism.”

Center for Discovery parent, and Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation Alison Singer is “a leader in the effort to distinguish these points on the spectrum.

“Singer says there’s an urgent need for more specialized care for people like her daughter, Jodie, 26, who has been diagnosed with autism. Her mother says she also is intellectually disabled, minimally verbal, and often pulls her hair, bangs her head and lashes out at others.”

“Federal support for autism is already relatively limited, with $369.7 million in annual Autism Cares funding vs. $7.8 billion to the National Cancer Institute alone and $28 billion annually for HIV, and the adult self-advocates and parents’ groups have conflicting goals.”

Some 656,000 Americans, most with intellectual and developmental disabilities, were on wait lists for state-paid home and community-based services in 2021.”

Read the full article in the Washington Post on the autism community’s divide on the subject and post your comments there.

View a PDF of the Washington Post article