The Rise in Autism
1980: 1 in 10,000
1995: 1 in 500
2001: 1 in 250
2004: 1 in 166
2007: 1 in 150
2009: 1 in 110
2012: 1 in 88
2014: 1 in 68
2015: 1 in 45*

In 2014, there were 1,082,353 cases of autism.

The estimate is 1 in 2 children will have autism by 2032, 80% of boys; according to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Researcher, MIT.

* A new government survey finds that 2.24% of U.S. kids have been diagnosed with autism--or 1 in 45 children aged 3 and older. This new report is based on data collected during the yearly National Health Interview Survey, from interviews of parents about their children, and is the first report of the prevalence of autism in the U.S. to include data from the years 2011 to 2014, according to the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Autism is the leading developmental disability in the U.S.

Autism is more common than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined.

The life-time cost to care for an individual with autism is estimated to range between $3.2 and $5 million, we think that estimate is low.

l  1% of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder1

l  Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4% from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68)2

l  Ratios,1 in 34 boys, 1 in 189 girls (CDC 2014)

l  Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism

l  About 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder3

l  Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate4

l  10 - 17 % annual growth5

l  67 children are diagnosed every day (Autism Society 2007)

l  A new case is diagnosed almost every 8 minutes (Autism Society 2015)

1. Pediatrics, October 5, 2009, based on a National Children’s Health Survey done with 78,000 parents in 2007.

2. "Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States " Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 27, 2014.

3. Buescher et al,. 2014 researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

4. “Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Changes in the California Caseload, An Update June 1987 June 20007.” Cavagnaro, Andre T., California Health and Human Services Agency. State of California 2003 survey of developmental disabilities.

5. Autism Society estimate based on 2003 US state educational data

One in 50 children in Katy has been identified with
an autism spectrum disorder;

there is hope.

Katy Autism Support was founded in 2007 as a support group for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder living in Katy, Texas.

Support Meeting May 17th, 2016; Special Needs Attorney presentation:

Katy Autism Support is happy to host Leona E. Filis, an attorney and mother of a child on the autism spectrum as our guest speaker. Ms. Filis will discuss how families with children with special needs can gain more knowledge and information about Medicaid Waivers, Special Education Law, Special Needs Trusts, Guardianship, Specially-Tailored Wills, and other family law issues including the ABLE Act.

Her law practice focuses on the legal services of families with children with special needs. In the interim, if you would like to know more about Medicaid Waiver programs, please visit Ms. Filis’ website for more information at:

Date:  Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Time: 7:00—9:00 PM
Location: St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, Asbury Hall, 1st floor, 20775 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, TX

If you have any questions, please send an email to Cynthia Reece at

Free childcare is available, RSVP the special needs ministry coordinator at for childcare no later than Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Chili's Giving Back Supports Katy Autism Support Group May 18:

Katy Autism Support and Chili's Restaurant (Mason Road #395) 
are partnering during autism awareness month. Through Chili's Give Back events they present an opportunity to support nonprofit organizations like ours and serve as a great way for them to connect to our community.


Wednesday, May 18, 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Chili’s Bar and Grill Mason Road #395 (near intersection with I-10) 
21865 Katy Freeway Katy,Texas (281) 398-3987
This fundraiser is only at the Mason Road & I-10 Feeder Road location

As you dine in, just simply mention you are there to support Katy Autism Support and ask your server to turn in your check with the flyer or show them the picture of the flyer below on your phone. At the end of the night, Chili's adds up all the checks turned in, and our organization will receive 10% of total sales raised by KAS patrons. 

Please share wide and far and tell as many people as possible through word of mouth, text messages, Facebook, and Twitter if possible. 

We will have printed flyers available at the monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 17. 

KAS is planning a playtime event at the new We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym sometime after it opens next month. This fundraiser could potentially pay for a few hours of open play! 

iFly Indoor Skydiving "All Abilities Night" Event:

iFly Indoor Skydiving "All Abilities Night" event for a night for special needs children and their families to fly in a supportive environment. More information will be announced shortly regarding this fun evening event. 

iFly in Houston has reached out to the KAS community and offered a special package to children with autism on Tuesday, April 26, at 6:00 pm (5:00 pm) and at 6:30 pm (5:30 pm), arrival time is 1 hour before flight time.

They’ll get you airborne in a safe and fun environment. Every package includes a pre-flight training session, all the necessary flight gear (suit, helmet, goggles), friendly instruction from a certified flight guide. Each 30 minute time block will accommodate 8 people, so a total of 16 people can participate during this event.

Date: Tuesday. April 26th
Times: 6:00 pm (check in time 5:00 pm) and at 6:30 pm (check in time 5:30 pm),
Location: 9540 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas
Contact: Teary Seng, (281) 942-4359
Cost: $50 per person 

More information:

  • Flyers must be over 3 years of age.
  • Participants must weigh 230 lbs. or less if under 6 ft tall, 250 lbs or less if over 6ft
  • Folks with recent shoulder dislocations, back, neck and heart problems should check with a doctor before flying.

CareStarter Connections App Launched 2015 in Houston, Texas:

CareStarter Connections App is a complete resource guide for families of kids with special needs, and best of all, it's free! The goal is to connect caregivers with providers, organizations and other resources in their community to help them along their path of care
The Connections App, powered by CareStarter Technologies®, facilitates the delivery of comprehensive, individualized, coordinated care at a time when caregivers need it most. To learn more, click on this link:


Join the Conversation...

Katy Autism Support is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to educating and empowering families living with autism in Katy, Texas.  We engage in lively conversation on our Yahoo Group on all topics related to autism.  There are more than 800 members participating in the online support group, many whom have a great breadth of knowledge and experience.  We have monthly meetings with speakers from the national level to professionals and providers from our own community. KAS is also dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of local families, and advocating for the fair, respectful treatment of all children regardless of the presence of a disability.  We have been involved in building bridges to schools, faith-based organizations and other private sector entities in Katy and across the country.

Come Find Us:

Join Katy Autism Support by clicking on this link Katy Autism Support click "Join This Group!" and leave a few sentences to let the moderator know why you want to be a part of KAS.  Most memberships are approved in 24 to 48 hours.
Find us on Facebook by typing Katy Autism Support in your Facebook search bar or click on the link below if you are viewing this from a mobile device, or go here to "Like" us!!/pages/Katy-Autism-Support/126446120715312

Meet us in person by attending support meeting. Meetings are held at St. Peter's United Methodist Church every third Tuesday from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm in Asbury Hall. Located at 20775 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, TX 77450.

For more information about monthly meetings, this website, other questions regarding KAS, please send an email message to Cynthia Reece at 

Free childcare is available at monthly support meetings but a spot(s) must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance; please contact Sarah Morrison, special needs ministry coordinator ONLY to RSVP FOR CHILDCARE at Please contact Cynthia Reece at
for other questions and requests. You do not need to RSVP to attend a meeting.

Wandering and Autism:

Wandering in the autism community has become all too common with an estimated 49% at risk according to a 2012 study in Pediatrics. Sadly, many of our children with autism die alone, scared, and without the ability to call out for help. 

With extensive search and rescue efforts that average an estimated cost of $150,000 to $350,000 per search, taxpayers are already reactively paying for this issue. We're asking for your help so that as a nation, we can invest proactively into saving priceless lives. 

Children and adults who are unable to speak or recognize danger are the most vulnerable citizens in our country. 

National Wandering Statistics:

  • In a NAA online survey, 92% of the respondents said their autistic child was at risk of wandering.
  • Wandering is the most life-threatening behavior associated with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) (Source: Alzheimer’s Association)

Katy Autism Support partnered with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department in 2011 to implement Project Lifesaver International. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance our organization was awarded grant funding. Project Lifesaver helps provide rapid response to save lives and reduce potential for serious injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other related cognitive conditions. Project Lifesaver provides equipment, training, certification and support to law enforcement, public safety organizations and community groups throughout the country and nation. 

If you have a loved one who has a tendency to wander/elope and lives in Fort Bend County, please contact Fort Bend County Deputy Jean Gobar at 832-473-2761 for more info on how to acquire a small personal transmitter, which is worn around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. Project Lifesaver went live in Fort Bend County on 12-1-2011. Don't let the cost of the equipment be a barrier to implementing this program in your county. Most, if not all current clients have had their devices sponsored by a business and we conduct fundraising activities to pay for replacement batteries and wrist bands, which are changed monthly. 

Help us raise awareness for wandering and safety for our loved ones with autism. If you live in an area that does not have the Project Lifesaver International program, please contact PLI at 1-877-580-5433 and they will help provide the necessary information to help bring the program to your community and to help increase prevention and safety in your community.

Option 1: Purchase a device for approx. $300 or a potential sponsor can cover that cost. Replacement bands and batteries are provided by KAS.

Option 2: If you are in a 
PLI area, and the agency approves, you can get a transmitter directly from PLI for $95.00 and pay $25.00 per month subscription fee.

If not in a PLI area you can get PAL. 
Project Lifesaver now has a solution and a new division specifically for Non-PLI areas, called “PAL” Protect and Locate With the addition of PAL Project Lifesaver will help provide protection and safety to even more individuals who wander due to Autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive conditions.  Please visit for more information about how to subscribe to PAL

Law enforcement officer demonstrating a tracking device.

Many wandering-related deaths occur when children are drawn to water, fall in and drown. Teach your children how to swim or seek out swim lessons taught by a certified instructor with experience teaching special needs children how to swim.

This child is quickly learning how to swim with the help of a certified swim instructor.

Local swim programs: 

Houston Swim Club

Year-round children’s indoor swim lessons.
Tracy Laman, owner
1711 N. Fry Road
Katy, TX 77449
Year-round children’s indoor swim lessons. Has enrolled and worked with special needs children, but classes are not specific to autism.

Houston (Private) Swim Lessons

Maureen Burch
They travel to your home pool to teach your children swimming lessons, offering a familiar environment for your children to help accelerate their progression. 

KATY Aquatics SwimAmerica
5506 1st Street
Katy, TX 77493

(281) 391-7200

For more information about Katy Aquatics Programs, send email to

Texas Swim Academy
Janin Huerter
Adaptive Aquatics Program
3514 Greenbusch

Katy, TX 77494

Caregiver Safety Toolkit:

In 2012, the National Autism Association found that from 2009 to 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism subsequent to wandering, and that 23% of total wandering-related deaths occurred while the child was in the care of someone other than a parent. 
You can download a caregivers toolkit from the National Autism Association Safety Initiative's AWAARE website, download and begin using your Big Red Safety Toolkit today. Enclosed, you will find:
•Caregiver Checklist
•Family Wandering Emergency Plan (FWEP)
•First-responder profile form. Please fill out and provide a copy to your local law enforcement agencies.
•Swimming Lessons Tool
•Root-cause Scenario & Strategies Tool
•Stop Sign Prompts
•Social Stories
•Caregiver Log
•Sample IEP Letter. (Never allow restraint/seclusion practices into any IEP as this increases associated risks)
•How To Get Tracking Technology In Your Town
•General Awareness Letter: share with schools, homeowner’s association, law enforcement agencies, 
physicians, etc.

•Five Affordable Safety Tools
•Caregiver Resources One-sheeter

A video for first responders by National Autism Association:

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