Project 3 – Research Project To Cure Autism

familyEarly intervention
For pre-school autistic children
With severe behavioural problems

OBJECTIVE: $250,000

The impact of having an autistic child is catastrophic on the financial and emotional well being of the family. Debts mount up. Siblings are often neglected and feel rejected. Parents find marriage daunting and sometimes give up.

Autism Is Increasing

Over the last 10 years, according to the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, the prevalence of autism has jumped from 1 in 125 to 1 in 50. Historically, many children have been misdiagnosed with an intellectually disabled when they were actually autistic.

Early Intervention Is Vital

There are various theories that attribute autism to environmental factors, vaccines, etc. These have all been discarded. Intensive therapy (20 to 40 hours per week) has been proven to reduce the effect of autism on growth and development in children below the age of six. In a recently published study, 20% of pre-school autistic children enrolled in intensive therapy were cured. They entered the 1st grade as normal students. After the age of six, therapy seems to have little or no effect.

Finding A Cure

The key objective of the 3-year applied research project will be to determine the most effective ways to eliminate the severe behavioural problems that prevent the child from receiving intensive therapy. If received before the age of six, the child has a 1 in 5 chance of being cured.

Successful treatment helps families that are dealing with a very difficult child, promotes family solidarity, saves significant public money over time, and for some, provides a permanent cure.

Currently, little detailed research has been done to determine the best strategies to treat children of such a young age.

The results of this research project will help the public system develop programs that increase the numbers of children being cured, in addition to effectively treating these children before the behavioural problems become intolerable and disruptive to the family unit.
Budget Breakdown

This unique project is a three-way partnership: the government, CRDITED de la
Montérégie-Est and the Butters Foundation will each invest $250,000 over three years,
providing a total budget of $750,000.