Dr. Eric Courchesne enjoys the day with
his two children.
When autism was first identified in 1943, the prevalence was estimated at 1 in 2,000 children. Today, 1 in 59 children are affected with autism or a related disorder, making it the fastest-growing developmental disability.
The reported autism rate in California has soared by more than 1,300 percent in the past 25 years.
The increase may be due to earlier diagnosis and better awareness of the disorder, but the cause of the disease itself remains a puzzle.
Advances in technology, such as neuroimaging, help us unravel the mystery behind the disorder, which affects so many individuals with great impact on families and communities.
The Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) is leading the way to illuminate autism’s causes and determine effective early interventions. We are the first to study the biology of autism in infancy. Early discovery and intervention can significantly enhance positive outcomes for toddlers with autism, and our work opens up a new field of study that we hope will lead to new therapies.
We work closely with pediatricians and families to monitor babies at risk for autism. We are all learning together. But our success relies on funding from grants and philanthropy. Your support can help us continue to identify and treat autism at the early stage of life, when the possibilities for improvement are most promising.
-Eric Courchesne, PhD., Director
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