Autism Support Network & Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. Create Alliance to Help Families Affected by Autism
(Fairfield, CT / Macon, GA) April 21, 2009 – Autism Support Network (www.AutismSupportNetwork.com) and Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. (www.aacfinc.org) today announced a partnership to provide information, support and help reduce the financial burden experienced by families coping with autism so they can focus attention seeking the necessary assistance for their autistic loved ones. As part of the relationship, Autism Support Network will help promote the grass-roots efforts of AACF, Inc. to its thousands of members worldwide.
Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. was founded by musician/songwriter, performer and platinum-record producer Michael Buckholtz, who is a diagnosed Asperger with OCD. He and his family experienced the financial disaster of coping with autism. Michael Buckholtz's desire to ensure that families coping with autism get a level playing field financially comes largely as a result of seeing his own family struggle to make ends meet. He knew that other families were experiencing the same thing and spearheaded the creation of AACF, Inc.
“Michael and the AACF, Inc. are embarking on an effort that is truly needed today,” said Brian Field, co-founder of the Autism Support Network, “While there are organizations focusing on new therapies, treatments, and on early-childhood intervention, families who are uninsured or underinsured often find themselves in financial distress as they try to provide the best for their children with autism. It can be ruinous to the stability of the family. We are proud to support the philanthropic thrust of AACF, Inc. and Michael’s passion behind it.”
“I was struggling to find a voice through the usual online social networks when Brian came across AACF, Inc. and introduced me to the Autism Support Network,” said AACF, Inc. founder Michael Buckholtz. “As someone coping with autism every day, I now feel I have a comfortable place to discuss and share my grassroots humanitarian mission tailor-made for assisting families coping with autism. For me, Autism Support Network is the MySpace for the Autism Community."
Today 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, with a new case diagnosed every 20 minutes and is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.
According to a Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in the spring of 2007, the typical American spends about $317,000 over his or her lifetime in direct medical costs, incurring 60% of those costs after age 65 years. In contrast, people with autism incur about $306,000 in additional direct medical costs, implying that people with autism spend twice as much as the typical American over their lifetimes and spend 60% of those incremental direct medical costs after age 21 years. The societal costs to support a single person with autism is $3.2 million over his or her lifetime, and as a group, upwards of $35 billion each year in direct (both medical and non-medical) and indirect costs to care for all individuals diagnosed with ASD.
About Autism Support Network
Autism Support Network (www.AutismSupportNetwork.com) is a free global online community – rapidly growing with thousands of members around the world – connecting families and individuals touched by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with each other, providing support and insight, and serving as a resource guide for treatments, strategies and therapies.
About Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc (AACF, Inc.)
Aid for Autistic Children Foundation, Inc. (www.aacfinc.org) is an early-stage grass-roots program created with the singular mission to reduce the financial burden on families coping with autism so they can focus attention seeking the necessary assistance for their autistic loved ones.