” Escalating over more than two decades, California’s massive epidemic of disabling autism is now triggering the largest social services crisis in the state’s history…
- At the end of 1987, the Department of Developmental Services (“DDS”) identified a total of 3,902 Californians with functionally and substantially disabling autism meeting the strict threshold of eligibility for DDS services. The entire DDS population at the time was 80,483.
- Now, more than two and half decades later, in mid-2014, DDS identifies 72,000 Californians with DDS-eligible autism meeting the same, or even more restrictive, criteria. The entire DDS population at this time is 282,000 and growing.
- While the strictly-defined DDS autism population soared 1,850%, the state’s population increased only 32%. Other developmental disability categories grew in numbers as well over this period, but at modest rates. “
Read 72,000-and-Growing: Californiaʼs Autism Epidemic, AutismSociety, October 2014.