New! Prevalence of Autism Rises to 1 in 68

Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2014) – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Autism Speaks calls for immediate national action plan.

Welcome to Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism!

Mission: AFAA is a national consortium of organizations working together, led by the vision of individuals with autism and their families, to promote a collaborative spirit and develop both public and private sector support that improve the lives of adults living with autism.

• Create and drive public policy change that will support adults with autism to become fully participating members of their communities.
• Lead a national dialogue to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities for adults with autism to lead full and meaningful lives.
• Be a portal of information on research, programs and services for adults with autism and their families.
• Act as a catalyst in developing strategies and coordinating efforts to improve the quality of services and supports for adults with autism and their families.

Leadership Council

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 **denotes Founding Organization Chair
* denotes Founding Member

Affiliate Members



Stay up-to-date with the latest by visiting our "News" page!


News: AFAA is proud to release its position statement on Housing policy for adults with autism. The statement reads, in part:

Our vision is to increase the number of housing options available to adults with autism and other developmental disabilities by advancing new residential prototypes that consider innovation, individuality, community integration and choice while balancing economic realities.

AFAA is committed to energizing an era that brings public, private and nonprofit sector interests together, and allows adults with autism and their families to choose their residence based on their individual needs.

Read the entire AFAA position statement on Housing policy here.


**Introducing: AFAA Applauds Inaugural Winners!**
Six Organizations in U.S. Recognized for Innovative, High-Quality Autism Programs
Programs in CA, CT, NJ, NY Selected as National Models

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) has selected the inaugural winners of AFAA Applauds, a national initiative recognizing the most promising support programs in the country for adults living with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). AFAA will promote these winning programs as cutting-edge models for other organizations to replicate. The goal is to meet the increased demand for effective services, provide accurate information on promising practices and generate awareness about ASDs and adult concerns.

Through a competitive application process, AFAA selected six organizations for exemplary results-oriented employment, residential support and community life programs that improve life experiences and outcomes for adults living with autism. Each AFAA Applauds winner will receive a $5,000 grant for the development of a video about the program to be released in April. Click here to learn more about the winners!

Autism Speaks names “Postsecondary Education and Employment Among Youth With an Autism Spectrum Disorder” as one of the Top Ten Autism Research Advances of 2012! Published in June’s issue of Pediatrics, this impactful report comes from lead investigator Paul Shattuck, Ph.D., of Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work, in St. Louis. Congratulations to Dr. Shattuck and his team!

Governor Perry Appoints Hundley and Turner to TX State Independent Living Council. Anna Hundley is executive director of the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas, a member of AFAA's Leadership Council. AFAA proudly congratulates her! Read more about Anna's appointment here.

Attention! Compared with youth with other disabilities, young adults with ASD face a disproportionately difficult time navigating work and educational opportunities after high school, finds a new study by Paul Shattuck, PhD, from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Click here to read more about this study, and check our News page for articles in the news related to these findings. 

Update: Autism Prevalence Rises to 1 in 88
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). By comparison, this is more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome - combined. The new numbers represent a 78% increase in autism over the previous five years. They represent a ten-fold (1,000%) increase in reported prevalence over the last four decades. Read the CDC report here.

News: New Research Finds Annual Cost of Autism Has More Than Tripled to $126 Billion in the U.S.
Autism Speaks announced preliminary results of new research that estimates autism costs society a staggering $126 billion per year - a number that has tripled since 2006. The costs of providing care for each person with autism affected by intellectual disability through his or her lifespan are $2.3 million in the U.S. and $2.4 million in the U.L.  Read more about these preliminary findings here.

News: ARCH has recently published its Federal Funding and Support Opportunities for Respite, 2012.  Written by Susan Dougherty and Jill Kagan, this guide provides basic information about each of the federal programs that can provide respite funding or support.  Find the guide here.

News: Autism Speaks, Managing Partner of AFAA, has launched their Housing and Residential Supports Portal and Tool Kit, a new online tool offering reliable, actionable information to help secure appropriate residential supports and services for adults with autism! To visit the web portal, click here.  Read the new tool kit here.

White House Appoints Peter Bell, Executive Vice President of Autism Speaks, AFAA Managing Partner, to President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities! Click here to learn more. Read the White House press release here.

Alert: The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities! Click here to learn more.

Federal Housing and Urban Development Funding Allocations Announced
Recent funding allocations from the federal Housing and Urban Development authority for affordable housing development has been announced for projects in numerous states. These allocations will support housing for people with disabilities. Learn more here.

HHS and FDA to Host Virtual Hiring Event November 3
On Thursday, November 3, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) invite all veterans and people with disabilities, who are interested in the many federal positions they have available, to register and participate at: www.fda.gov/hiringevent.

England's National Autistic Society and Goldman Sachs win Project Of The Year Award at the Charity Times Awards for a project focused on employment of adults with autism spectrum disorder. Learn more here and here.

President Obama issue a proclamation in recognition National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is October. Read the proclamation here.

Spotlight on AFAA Steering Committee Member Linda Walder Fiddle from New Jersey Monthly:
Going to Bat for Adults with Autism: The mother of an autistic son realizes there are few services for adults living with autism, and acts to change the status quo

**US Labor Department awards more than $21 million in Disability Employment Initiative funding to 7 states! Click here to read more!

**Click here to read Autism Speaks Executive Vice President Peter Bell's NJ Spotlight essay: A Vision for New Jersey's Autism Community.

The Final Report from the AFAA Congressional Briefing is now available! Click here to read about the briefing that took place in Washington, DC in July 2010.

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) is a national consortium seeking to create meaningful futures for adults with autism that include homes, jobs, recreation, friends and supportive communities.

President Obama’s Federal Budget for the Fiscal Year 2012 allocated funding to various programs and initiatives designed to help “Win the Future for People with Disabilities." These proposals include: expanding autism research, increasing support for workers with disabilities, and expanding funding for the education of children with disabilities. Click here to read more.

On July 15th, 2010, AFAA hosted a Congressional briefing in Washington, DC that brought together federal legislators, national policymakers and advocates for adults with autism – including individuals who have autism – to discuss priorities for action in the public and private sectors that address the increasing and unmet demand for effective services for adolescents and adults with the disorder.

Click here to learn more about the Congressional briefing. 

Below is a preview clip that includes the highlights of the briefing.

To view more videos from the Congressional Briefing, including videos of each of the panels and remarks from the honorary co-chairs, Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Mike Doyle, please see the Congressional Briefing Videos page.

To read about Joey Rosenbloom, a young man with autism who testified at the briefing, visit the Autism Speaks blog

Click here to view the legislative agenda proposed by AFAA at the Congressional Briefing on July 15th.

On November 13th, 2009, Americans came together across 16 sites to create a policy agenda for addressing the needs of adults with autism. AFAA has just released the executive summary from the National Town Hall, which will serve as a guide for the Congressional briefing. The executive summary features feedback and input from the National Town Hall participants and strategies to address needs in four critical areas: housing, employment, community life and cross-cutting strategies. It also includes a five-year vision for each focus area.

**Click here to view the Executive Summary of the National Town Hall!**

You can also view the preliminary report of the general themes, discussions and statistics that came out of the National Town Hall here.

This unique national consortium has united to set national priorities for adults on the autism spectrum and to transform public policy and programming for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders.

The Think Tank Summary Report and Addendum have been added here.

Please visit the AFAA page on Facebook!