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Rising Rates of Autism

In 2020, one in 36 children aged 8 years (approximately 4% of boys and 1% of girls) was estimated to have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Centers for Disease Control, 2020 Link

Current Hospital Conditions for People with Autism

Individuals with autism twice as likely to undergo in-patient hospitalization (6% vs. 3% of population).

National Autism Indicators Report, 2020, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute Link

 

Individuals with autism had significantly higher lengths of [hospital] stay (6.5 vs. 4.2) as compared to those without autism. 

Lockhandwala, et al., 2012, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders Link

In addition, many families of children with ASD experience a difficult time locating dentists willing to treat their child. In fact, only 40% of general dental practitioners stated that they would work with children with ASD.

Como DH, Stein Duker LI, Polido JC, Cermak SA. Oral Health and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Unique Collaboration between Dentistry and Occupational Therapy. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 27;18(1):135. Link

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Importance of Trainings for Healthcare Professionals

91.4% of medical students and pediatric trainees reported that they did not receive enough didactic or clinical training regarding treatment of a child with ASD when they present with an acute illness, and 92.6% felt that more training on this topic was warranted.

Austriaco K, Aban I, Willig J, Kong M. Contemporary Trainee Knowledge of Autism: How Prepared Are Our Future Providers? Front Pediatr. 2019 Apr 26;7:165 Link

To fill the gap, we successfully surveyed 8,184 mental health treatment facilities in the contiguous U.S. As of August 2019, fewer than half (43.0%) of facilities reported providing behavioral health care for children with ASD, and 36.6% were currently accepting children with ASD as new patients. Only 12.7% reported having a clinician with specialized training, and 4.3% reported a specialized program. 

Cantor, et al., 2020, Health Affairs Link

Based on the results reported in these studies, specialized autism training programs were associated with positive changes in physician knowledge and self-efficacy related to the care of autistic patients. 

Fung, et al., 2022, Autism Link

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