PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 2018 – As Autism Awareness Month draws to a close, Councilman Derek Green (At-Large) shares his thoughts on the recently released findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing a continuing increase in Autism rates among grade-school aged children; a 15 percent spike between 2012 and 2014.
“When my son, Julian, was diagnosed back in 2001, one out of every 200 children had an autistic diagnosis. Today, it’s one in every 59. While it is disconcerting to know that Autism rates are still on the rise without a clear-cut cause, it is encouraging to know that children – especially minorities and those without adequate access to early childhood education resources – are being diagnosed much earlier,” said Councilman Green. “The racial divide for diagnosis and treatment is indeed narrowing with every passing year and that is extremely promising.
“Although today is the last day of Autism Awareness Month, the campaign to expand people’s knowledge and understanding of the complexities of Autism and other intellectual disabilities does not stop. As the parent of an autistic son, as well as a member of City Council, I’m proud to collaborate with my colleagues and some of the leading Autism support organizations in our area and in the country – like Autism Speaks, the Philadelphia Autism Project, Jaden’s Voice, Project Elijah Empowering Autism (PEEA), Bancroft and the Center for Autism Research at CHOP – to create more ways to connect disenfranchised, newly-diagnosed and transitioning families of children on the spectrum to such resources, ensuring they receive the help they need. I will do whatever it takes to make Philadelphia the village that every child deserves to thrive and succeed!”