What is Autism?
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that impacts communication, behavior and social relationships. Autism along with Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder are referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders.
How Common is Autism?
• Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
• About one in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.
• One in 42 boys is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
• An estimated 2 million individuals in the U.S. are affected by autism.
Why is it important to advocate for funding and increase awareness about Autism?
Families rely on a broad array of services depending on many factors. These services are often beyond the financial capability of many. Funding from government sources, private foundations and other places is crucial to meet the ever growing need.
Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year. Raising awareness about autism helps people to understand the need and the challenges involved.
Families often need a broad range of services to assist them in surviving the day to day challenges that accompany autism. Quality services help to mitigate the behaviors associated with autism, maximize the potential of individuals with autism and help parents to cope. Some of the services people need include:
• early intervention
• speech/language therapy
• specialized respite services
• specialized after school and summer programs
• residential services
• applied behavior analysis (ABA)
The Autism Services Grants Council
The Autism Services Grants Council was created by the Florida Legislature in 2009 to implement and oversee a grants process for the distribution of funds generated from the sales of the Florida Support Autism Programs Specialty License Plate.
The primary purpose of the Council is to fund service programs for grants to nonprofit organizations to operate direct services programs for individuals with autism and related disabilities in Florida including direct services, evaluation, training, and awareness. Consideration for participation in such services and programs must be given to applicants who are children or adults with autism and related disabilities and their families and shall include those who are on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities waiting lists for services.
The amount of funds available through the grant process will be dependent of the amount of revenue generated by sales of the Florida Support Autism Programs Specialty License Plate. The Autism Services Grants Council is administered by Arc Broward, Inc., an IRS exempt Section 501(c)(3), Florida nonprofit organization.