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Statement By Secretary Sebelius on National Autism Awareness Month

During National Autism Awareness Month, we reflect on an urgent public health challenge and rededicate ourselves to addressing the complex needs of people with autism and their families.  Over the last decade, we’ve learned that autism is far more prevalent than we had previously believed, affecting one out of every 110 American children.  While we still have a lot to learn about what causes autism and which treatments can help people with autism thrive, we’re getting closer to finding answers thanks to a historic new investment in autism research.  At the same time, we continue to improve lives by educating health care professionals about how to detect the disorder early, funding networks of providers and parents that spread information about the most promising autism treatments, and helping autistic children get the support they need in school.  We took another step forward last month when President Obama signed a health reform bill that will make it illegal for insurance companies to deny health insurance to people because they have autism. 

This month, we recognize the significant challenges that Americans with autism face and rededicate ourselves to these efforts to address them.

For more information on the Department’s efforts regarding autism, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/autism/

2 Responses

  1. It’s not 1 in 110 anymore, but 1 in 99! This was said on TV a few months ago.

    Thx for the above info.


    • Thanks, Blanca. The statistics are pretty confusing–so many different ones! The truly important point, that we all can support, is that the incidence of autism is clearly on the rise.

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