In a motion by Supervisors Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors will request that the First 5 Los Angeles Commission consider an annual allotment of funding to address the challenges facing low-income families with children with autism, aged five and younger.
The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism reported that a significant number of families confront major barriers in accessing and navigating programs and services, including case management, speech therapy, physical therapy and social skills training. The number of children diagnosed with autism, known clinically as Autism Spectral Disorders, has exploded over the past 17 years, from 1 in 10,000 in 1993, to 1 in 110 children in 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,
“Autism is a lifelong neurological disorder that has become more prevalent in the past years, affecting not only the child, but the family as well,” said Supervisor Don Knabe. “While the First 5 Los Angeles Commission has funded efforts in the past to provide support for families impacted by autism, we believe that more can be done to help these young children and their families. Detecting Autism at a young age can have a profound impact on cognitive and social development, giving children and their families more options and hope.”
The First 5 Commission, created through Proposition 10 funds, provides low-income families with children five and under, education, health services, childcare and other crucial programs.