The Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism

Supporting individuals with autism and their families: forging new directions for real change.

The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism

The Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism was established by the California Legislature in 2005 without a single dissenting vote. The resolution creating it received strong bipartisan support. Its goal is to have direct impact on the needs of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Photo of boy Authored by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) and supported by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nez (D-Los Angeles), the resolution (SCR 51), creates a sixteen member Commission representing parents of children with autism, the public and private sector, educators, physicians, and public health officials.

Autism Facts

  • Autism is characterized by language delays or other communication problems, poor or limited social skills and repetitive, rigid and other unusual behaviors.
  • Autism refers to a spectrum of disorders with a wide range of symptoms that vary from mild to severe.
  • Once considered a rare disorder, today autism is estimated to affect as many as 1 in every 150 children.
  • A child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes.
  • Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls, and occurs in children of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. It is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric aids combined.
  • A significant number of symptoms of autism are present by 18 months of age or even earlier. However, children are typically not diagnosed until 3 to 4 years of age, or later.
  • Research indicates that early identification and intervention can result in significant positive outcomes for many children with autism.
  • (These facts provided by The Help Group.)


Learn more about the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.