Through education and advocacy, we work to improve the lives of those impacted by autism through generating awareness in the community, offering educational programs to families and individuals with autism, and facilitating connections through professional and personal networking opportunities and support groups. Whatever the need, we’re here to help.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of development disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavior challenges. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability, affecting more children than juvenile diabetes, pediatric AIDS, and childhood cancer combined.
Facts about autism:
- It is estimated that 500,000 children with autism will turn 18 in the next five years.
- Just over one percent of children in the United States ages 3-17 have a form of autism.
- The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.
- 1 in 54 boys today have autism.
- 1.5 million Americans live with autism.
- Autism accounts for nearly $60 billion in annual [healthcare] costs.
- Sixty percent of costs are on adult services.
- Cost of autism over a lifespan is $2.4 million per person.
- Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention.
- The expenditure in the school system for a child with autism is estimated to be 3 times that of a typical regular education student.
- Only 56% of children with autism finish high school.
- Only 21% of adults with disabilities participate in the labor force.
People with autism:
- May seem deaf and do not understand what you say.
- May appear anxious, nervous, upset for no apparent reason, or dart away unexpectedly.
- May engage in repetitive behaviors and self-stimulating behaviors.
- May not be able to speak or may speak with difficulty.
- May not understand right from wrong or the consequences of their actions.
Interacting with someone with autism:
- Use simple, concrete language.
- Speak slowly and allow time for response.
- Repeat simple questions and give lots of praise.
- Do not attempt physical contact.
- Remember that each individual is unique and will be different.
Signs of concern for further evaluation:
- A baby that does not babble, coo, gesture, point, wave, or grasp by 12 months.
- Does not say a single word by 16 months.
- Unable to say two-word phrases without help by 24 months.
- Has any loss of language or social skills at any age.
We want to build quality communities in the Pensacola Bay Area for individuals and families affected by autism. We invite you to join us in building a community of people and connections. Make time to spend time with others who understand what you are going through by attending one of these Chat Groups. You’ll make friends and find answers from those who share the challenges and joys of living with autism.
- Men’s Chat: Online Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1626357290985618/
- Grandparents of Autism Pensacola (GAP): Meets at the Autism Pensacola office (3916 N 10th Ave) on the third Friday of each month at 10am.
- Autism Pensacola Council: Meets at the Autism Pensacola office on the fourth Thursday of each month at 10am.