The latest findings from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network indicate that the prevalence of ASD held steady between 2010 and 2012, at 1 in 68. Does this mean that the percentage of children with ASD has stabilized? It’s too soon to know; we will need to wait for future reports. The median age of evaluation for ASD was 40 months. Racial and ethnic disparities continue to be present. To learn more about the study’s main findings and prevalence rates by different key factors (e.g., gender, ethnicity/race), read the CDC’s key findings article and “snapshot” report.
On Friday, the Washington Autism Advisory Council (WAAC) brought together service providers, stakeholders, parents, and individuals with ASD to examine issues associated with the transition to adulthood. Presentations throughout the day described challenges to healthcare access, highlighted model programs for residential living and support for vocational training and higher education, and discussed state resources for transition services. One of the highlights of the day was the panel of adults with ASD who shared their personal experiences–both challenges and triumphs—with the highly engaged WAAC audience.
Over the weekend, NPR presented a “For the Record” two-part series in which parents of children with autism describe their experiences with the diagnostic process and how their lives have been changed. The series concludes with comments from an adult with autism, who is a self-advocate. Click to listen to part 1 and part 2 of their stories. More information for and from parents of children with newly-diagnosed autism is available (in English and Spanish) from the READi Lab DVD/webcast, “Understanding Autism: Reflections and Insights from Parents and Professionals.” Click here to view the videos on our website.
The UW Speech and Hearing Sciences Department is offering a peer mentoring program for UW students with ASD and/or social communication challenges. The aim of this program is to help students navigate the complexities of college life. If you are a UW student interested in receiving this support, email Lauren Nehilla at email@example.com to learn more or enroll. Click here to see the program flyer.
The costs of services and equipment for children with ASD can place a strain on any family’s pocketbook. Ben’s Fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to families in our state who have a child with ASD. The fund was created by Jon and Traci Schneider (yes, the same Jon Schneider who’s the GM for the Seahawks), in partnership with FEAT of Washington. Funds can be used to help pay for assessments, therapies, GPS personal trackers, service dogs, computer tablets or apps, and many other types of ASD-related expenses. Additional information, including application materials, can be obtained here. Go Hawks!