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Poll Shows 8 in 10 New Jerseans Know Somebody With Autism, But Regular Interaction Is Much Less

About a quarter of people polled have weekly interactions with a person with autism.  Three in five less frequent, and another quarter none at all. 

“We broke that down in terms of who they know who has been diagnosed with autism.  When we broke that down by inside or outside of your family and looking at adults versus children, about two-thirds of New Jerseans say that they know a child under the age of 18 that is outside of their family,” said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.

The poll numbers were lower among people with family members that have autism.

“Just 18 percent say an adult family member.  31 percent know a child family member,” Koning said.

8 in 10 people polled support the federal government providing financial assistance for individuals with autism and their families.

But poll director Ashley Koning says it comes from different groups on varying degrees.

“We see non-white residents much more supportive of assistance than white residents.  We see differences by those who are familiar, know or are acquainted with somebody who has autism and interact with someone who has autism.  When the issue is more personal of course something like this in terms of financial assistance is much more supported.”