Autism Awareness Month Starts Today

April is Autism Awareness month and to start things off this year, Autism Speaks released its first-ever survey judging the quality of life of autistic children and their families.

The advocacy group surveyed over 840 members of the autism community, which includes those suffering from autism and the family members who care for them, living in the bottom 48 states and Washington D.C. The online survey shows that 74 percent are unhappy with the care and services available to them. The remaining 26 percent reported that they were happy, overall.

"These survey results confirm what we hear every day from families - that they are struggling to get their children services that are essential to their development and well-being," Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, said in a statement. "Our goal in conducting this survey is to encourage conversations within the autism community, and to inform policy makers and leaders in local communities about the tremendous need for increased services and inspire action.

The group broke down their responses by city and state so they could make a list of the best and worst places to live if you or someone you care for suffers from autism. The top 10 cities, in random order, include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St.Paul, New York, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Seattle.

The states with the highest number of negative responses to the survey, in random order, include California, despite Los Angeles, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. Those who responded negatively to the survey were generally unhappy with satisfactory medical care available in a close proximity and services that would allow caretakers a break from caring for their autistic child. They did, however, say they were content with the educational services their children were receiving.
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