The incidence of autism is increasing at an alarming rate. Just over a decade ago, it was estimated that autism affected one out of 10,000 children. In April of 2002, the United States Congress declared autism a national epidemic. In January of 2004, the CDC, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, estimated that one in 166 children are currently being diagnosed with autism. CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network released data in 2021 that found about 1 in 44 children in the United States had an ASD.
Autism McLean (formerly Autism Society of McLean County) was founded in 2002. What began as a small group of parents needing to make a difference in our community has grown to more than 200 members today. With the increase in numbers, the demands for services and supports have also increased greatly. We strive to meet the demands by tapping into the strength of the community and fundraising with the help of our many volunteers. This alone can be a difficult task given that we are an all volunteer organization made up mainly of parents who have children with autism.