According to a study recently released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, it is estimated that approximately 673,000 children aged 3-21 have been diagnosed with autism nationwide.
Leading researchers and autism treatment providers agree that children with autism need increased access to evidence-based interventions, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). Endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics, ABA is the only treatment for autism that has been consistently validated by independent scientific research.
However, the CDC Study implies a huge gap between the number of children who need autism treatment and the availability of evidence-based autism treatment. Gina Green, PhD., executive director of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, estimates that there are only approximately 4,900 Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (who must be supervised by BCBAs) "worldwide" who work with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Rethink Autism hopes to address that gap. "As the prevalence rates of autism are now estimated to be one in 110, we must identify innovative ways to address this National Health Crisis so that children with autism will receive the intervention they so desperately need. Rethink Autism's groundbreaking web-based curriculum empowers parents of children with autism to begin intervention today," said Dr. Bridget Taylor, Senior Clinical Advisor and Board Chair of the Rethink Autism Scientific Advisory Board.
"The alarming autism incident rates just published by the CDC - coupled with the staggeringly low likelihood of families gaining access to ABA interventions - should be an immediate call to action," said Jamie Pagliaro, executive vice president of Rethink Autism. "The need for new technologies and scalable solutions to deliver best practice treatment has never been greater than now. Developed by some of the nation's leaders in the field of autism, Rethink Autism offers cost-effective research-based intervention tools to anyone with an Internet connection."