Capital Rally Garners Autism Support
"We have over 2,000 people on our waiting list for services. We have families all over the state who are waiting to get services in their homes, and to be able to move forward. This funding from the governor will allow us to hire more people, so we can provide more services and get these people off the waiting list," Blackwell said.
In his State of the State speech Blunt proposed $3.1 million in funding for autism related services, which more than doubled the current amount. Some of that money would go to the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurological Disorders.
"One of our greatest challenges is to find a way to treat these kids but also in a way that's responsible from a financial side because there's not a whole lot of funding to treat them clinically," said Stephen Kanne of the Thompson Center.
Blackwell says the funding Blunt promises is good, but won't solve all of their problems.
"To look at is a whole comprehensive set of services that are autism specific for people with autism in this state so that we can diagnosis and there is treatment and they can get the services that they need as they grow," Blackwell said.
The governor isn't the only person the group wants paying attention. Members talked with legislators and are counting on their support of the governor's budget proposal.
According to recent studies one in 166 children born today will be on the autism spectrum. This means in future years, Missouri Senatorial disctricts could average approximately 900 persons with Autism, while each Missouri house district could average approxiamtely 200 persons with autism.
Missouri alone has seen a 373% increase in Autism throughout the past decade, perhaps due in part to a growing awareness of the condition.
According to the United States Government Accountability oOffice the cost of educating children with autism is $18,800 per year in special education. While the cost of education non-affected students in regular education is $6, 556 per year.
Scientist have known for some time that autism often runs in familes. Studies suggest that if have one child has autism there's 5% to 10% chance that any sibling will also have autism, and a 30-40% chance that the sibling will have milder but related problem.
50 children are diagnosed with autism every day.
Autism is more prevalent than down syndrome, juvenile diabetes, and childhood cancer combined.