PA First in Nation to Release Statewide Data
HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania is expected to see a continued rise in the number of children and adults living with autism, according to the Pennsylvania Autism Census Project Final Report released today by Governor Edward G. Rendell.
"With the release of this report, Pennsylvania becomes the first state in the nation to have data helping us to prepare to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of children and adults with autism," Governor Rendell said. "This report marks another important accomplishment in our efforts to understand the needs of Pennsylvanians with autism.
"Prior to this study, we had no accurate means to determine how many families were potentially in need of services and support," said Governor Rendell. "As we worked to determine who these families were and where they lived, our sense that Pennsylvania faces a very real crisis was confirmed."
In 2005, an estimated 20,000 Pennsylvanians were living with autism. The report predicts the number will grow to at least 25,000 by 2010. While the number of children diagnosed continues to rise, the report details an expected dramatic increase in the number of adults with autism. According to the report:
Allegheny, Philadelphia and Montgomery counties were identified as having the highest number of individuals with autism. The census results further indicated that Warren, Pike, Clearfield, Mercer and Monroe counties showed the highest prevalence of autism; and Juniata, Sullivan, Union and Adams showed the lowest.
The Governor said the report will be an extraordinarily important tool in identifying the types of services needed and the areas of the state where they are needed the most. With the census report, Pennsylvania is uniquely situated to coordinate its efforts to provide necessary assistance to people with autism and their families. The report also identified key areas where cross-systems collaboration and coordination are needed:
For more information on programs and services for Pennsylvanians with autism, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us or call 866-539-7689.
Stacey Witalec, DPW; 717-787-4592
Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
|SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor|
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