California Reports: Autism Caseload Exceeds 30,000

      From autism advocate Rick Rollens.

      According to information released today by the California Department
of Developmental Services (DDS), the number of professionally diagnosed
cases of full syndrome DSM IV autism in California's developmental services
system has, for the first time in it's 37 year history, exceeded 30,000
persons.....nearly 80% are children under the age of 17, with 2 out of 3
persons are between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. No children under the
age of three years old are included in this reporting system.
      In 1987 there were less then 2,800 cases statewide, today there are
30,181. During the latest reporting period between January 4, 2006 and April
4, 2006 DDS reports that an additional 757 new cases were added to the
system, that is, on average, nearly nine new children a day, seven days a
week entering California's developmental services system with full syndrome
autism, and does NOT include any persons with any other autism spectrum
disorder such as PDD, NOS, or Asperger's Syndrome.
        Autism not only continues to be the number one disability entering
California's developmental services system, but now constitutes a record
setting 63% of all persons entering the system, with the remaining 37% of
the intakes being the COMBINED number of new intakes with mental
retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other conditions that have mental
retardation as a component of the condition.

      Between April 2002 and April 2003 there were 3,595 persons added to
the system.
      Between April 2003 and April 2004 there were 3,088 persons added to
the system.
      Between April 2004 and April 2005 there were 3,015 persons added to
the system.
      Between April 2005 and April 2006 there were 2,869 persons added to
the system. 

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