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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Autism Navigator

In The Politics of AutismI discuss the difficulties facing families of newly-diagnosed children.

The lifetime societal cost for one child with autism is between $1.4 and $2.4 million, said Amy M. Wetherby, director of the Autism Institute in the Florida State University College of Medicine.
"And the difference has to do with whether that child also has an intellectual disability. Or to turn that around: If we can prevent the intellectual disability, we can save a million dollars per child," said Wetherby, the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders in the FSU College of Communication and Information. "And if we can treat the autism, then we can save even more money. And most importantly, give kids a chance for a more normal life."
The diagnoses of autism have increased by more than 100 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a defined by consistent deficiency in social communication and interaction. It is accompanied by restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Symptoms vary from a mild degree of social impairment to intellectual and language disabilities.
Faculty and staff at the Autism Institute at the FSU College of Medicine created the Autism Navigator to give tools to parents of autistic children. The Autism Navigator is a collection of web-based tools and courses developed to bridge the gap between science and community practice. Access to the website is free and it gives parents and caregivers information to make them more aware earlier of developmental issues in children.
As I point out in The Politics of Autism, statistics on social cost themselves entail controversy. An alternative perspective is that they do not actually represent the cost of autism, but rather the cost of discrimination and lack of support