Help one child with Autism thrive and you change the world.
HMEA advocates for nearly 5,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities in Central Massachusetts through education, support and life experiences.
In the 110 communities we serve, over half of our clients have Autism. They are part of what the Centers for Disease Control calls the “Autism Tsunami.”
For the past 20 years, Autism diagnoses have been on the rise. Today, 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism. The families need help caring for their children and young adults. Massachusetts — and the nation — is facing a critical shortage of qualified Behavior Therapists who can help these families thrive. And if the families find qualified support, they can wait up to a year for services.
These families cannot and should not wait any longer.
How the Autism Tsunami impacts families
- In most cases, in-home therapies during the child’s critical years of brain development predict better long-term outcomes for children.
- Robust services help children with Autism become healthy, independent and productive members of our communities. The University of Pennsylvania reports that appropriate therapies and respites for caregivers keep children and young adults at home instead of more costly institutions.
- Lack of services leads to reduced productivity at work — or from earning an income at all — and impacts family finances and the region’s workforce.
- The cost of providing care for a person with Autism is estimated at $1.4 million over his or her lifetime. Nationally, families, government agencies and schools spend an estimated $160 billion per year treating Autism. That is expected to increase to $800 billion by 2030.
Communities are not ready to handle the health, social and economic impacts of the Autism Tsunami. You can help fill this gap.