Autism Statistics and Trends
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a serious developmental disorder that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affects about 1 in 100 children. The symptoms of autism are often lifelong, so these children will require healthcare and support throughout their lives. However, this support is not always readily available.
The Center for Developmental Disabilities Advocacy and Community Support Services found that “over one quarter of families with autistic adults who use Developmental Disability services and live with family do not have enough services or supports for themselves.” Their research highlighted the need for respite for caregivers, strengthened emergency support, and overall increased access to services. These autism trends reveal a gap in crucial support.
Autism Support and Services
Because autism has lifelong and widespread impacts on the lives of those with ASD, autism services need to be multifaceted and accessible. Autism resources can and should account for the following:
- Long-term housing
- Employment assistance
- ASD therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy or hippotherapy
These kinds of services are offered through a range of places such as schools, shelters, community-based housing programs, and more. However, these methods of autism treatment can only be effective if they can be accessed by those who need them. Currently, access to these services is limited, with a pronounced lack of services for adults with autism.
A study of healthcare access for individuals with autism found that they often faced these barriers to access:
- Shortage of healthcare services
- Physician knowledge
- Cost of services
- Family and individual knowledge
- Language barriers
As a society, we need to take action to support and provide for the needs of those with autism. We can combat these issues by raising public awareness about autism or providing more funding for programs that help adults and children on the spectrum live happier lives.
Private organizations and nonprofits have also stepped in to fill the gap, offering services like long-term housing projects. For example, here at HippoTherapy Helps, we’re launching our very first long-term assisted living facility for adults with autism! Called HippoTherapy House, it will be a 50-acre campus where autistic adults who can’t live alone will receive care, community engagement, activity, and love. Based in Virginia, the campus will also feature a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor therapeutic riding arena so that residents can benefit from equine therapy!
We’re excited to bring HippoTherapy House to life, and to make it available regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Learn more about our assisted living campus, and donate today to help us launch this elegant solution to autistic adults’ housing crises!
You can learn more about what we do and how we support autism awareness, or join our hippotherapy community now to find your tribe. We’d love to have you! Sponsor a ride or make a donation to change someone’s life today!