Monday, April 4, 2011

Autism: What You Need to Know

According to Annie Daly, autism diagnosis rates are raising rapidly: About one in 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. That’s up from one in 150 children in just four years. Why the big leap? “There’s not one single answer,” explains Catherine Rice , Ph.D., a behavioral scientist fro the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there’s “an increase in the genetic or environmental factors that may cause it, such as adults having kids later in life or the increase survival of preemie babies.” While scientist are still searching for answers, they do know this much: Although autism can’t be fully cured, people with it can improve and lead fuller lives with intervention. Here, key resources it you want to get involved:

For more information on autism:

1. Log on to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s autism page at You can also call them 24 hours a day at 800-232-4636.

2. If you think your child may have ASD, contact their doctor and ask for a referral to a specialist if necessary.

3. To find out if your child qualifies for free intervention services, call the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities at 800-695-0285 for details

4. If you would like to raise funds for the cause: Log on to and click on “donate now.” Or, to learn additional ways you can help support the cause, like participating in an autism walk, click on “Other Ways to Give.”


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