Autism cases have been rising for more than two decades.

California has a lot of work to do to get ready.

Each year the rise in caseload continues, steeper than the year before. An ever-increasing number of people with autism will be aging out of many state services as they reach adulthood. California is not ready.

These numbers imply substantial effect from increases in causal factors.

The prevalence for 2014 is over 36 times that of 1980.

By 2018, the total number of persons of all ages with an ASD diagnosics in the California DDS system surpassed 100,000.

In the 7 years from 2013 to 2020 we added as many cases as in the 33 years from 1980 to 2013.

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2) Write your representatives:

Dear (Legislator’s Name),

An important new report on surging autism cases in the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) shows a significant, ceaseless increase in autism in California. The State is not prepared for this increase.

Over 46,000 individuals with autism in the California Department of Developmental Services were born in the decade 2001-2010 and are now entering adulthood. This is nearly double the number born in the previous decade, 1991-2000. These are substantially disabled individuals, not mild cases. As these new adults leave school and school-funded programs, the cost to California will increase dramatically.

The State’s pressing questions are: Who will take care of these individuals as their parents become too old? Where will they live? California must develop effective fiscal policy and support structures to prepare for this at-risk population’s needs, as required by the Lanterman Act.

I urge you to read the 2021 report commissioned by the Autism Society of San Francisco Bay Area available at www.sfautismsociety.org/report2020.html.

Thank you
(Your Name)

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