Today, autism affects an estimated 80 million people worldwide. One in 36 children and one in 45 adults in the U.S. is reported to be on the spectrum. Each year, more than 50,000 adolescents with autism enter adulthood and age out of school-based services. As they transition, only 1 in 5 people with disabilities, including autism, are employed.
These eye-opening statistics of increasing prevalence and transition, while a positive sign of progress in awareness and advocacy for early identification and diagnosis, are an even greater recognition of the urgency to address the needs of people with autism and their families. This makes our mission feel more important today than ever before. We have a responsibility to support the autism community across the life span - from first diagnosis to aging adulthood - to, eliminate barriers and gaps in care; to ensure access to reliable, trustworthy information, resources and services; and enable the opportunity to live fulfilling lives. Our vision is of a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential by ensuring equity, inclusion and lifelong wellbeing.