A Regional Resource from the Southern Legislative Conference
A recent report from the Southern Legislative Conference looks at the sudden rise of autism and what it means to the South.
As you may know autism is on the rise. The report stated that the South was behind the national average in terms of autism diagnosis. While this sounded positive at first, the report went on to say that this may indicate a need for improved screening, diagnosis and awareness. Will telemedicine concepts (what we have coined as Tele-Autism) accelerate this process of identification and diagnosis, especially in rural areas?
Autism is the most costly of all disabilities. Yet, according to the study, research has shown that for children (typically younger than the age of 4) enrolled in EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention) therapies, nearly half are able to graduate from the program to regular classrooms without further interventions. Nearly two-fifths of participants make improvements but continue to require support, with only one-tenth making minimal gains. Bottom line – nine out of ten children respond favorably to early intervention and therapy!
The report compared the cost of intensive therapy versus the cost of autism across an individual’s life span. The state of Florida estimated a $2.1 billion in savings due to early intervention.