This is a subject near and dear to my heart!
Here are some interesting facts about autism (from Autism Speaks):
* Autism affects 1 in 110 children - 1 in 70 boys
* Boys are 4 times more likely than girls to have autism
* Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the US
* More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
Prevalence vs. Private Funding
* Leukemia: Affects 1 in 1,200 / Funding: $277 million
* Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 100,000 / Funding: $162 million
* Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $156 million
* Autism Spectrum Disorder: Affects 1 in 110 / Funding: $79 million
National Institute of Health Funds Allocation
* Total 2009 NIH budget: $35.9 billion
* Of this, $196 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.5% of total NIH funding.