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Advances for Autism

Support and understanding of ASD continues to grow


April 2014

April is Autism Awareness Month – and it's quite possible you know someone whose life is impacted by autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in 88 children is affected by an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder and autism.

Fortunately, many great local resources are available for families living with ASD. Between state-of-the-art treatment, extensive support networks and a growing acceptance from the general population, there are numerous reasons to be hopeful about the future for those dealing with autism.

New approaches

Over the past few decades, several methods for treating autism have been studied, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy) has proven to be one of the most effective, explains Courtney Bierman, President of Clinical Development at Bierman ABA Autism Center. ABA therapy is used to modify various forms of behavior, including language, socialization and daily living skills. Because ABA therapy has been so widely researched and studied, many insurance companies now cover this form of autism treatment.

However, Bierman says that the number one change in autism therapy is early diagnosis and intervention. Pediatricians are now looking for initial signs of autism, including speech or developmental delays. "Research shows that children who receive intensive early intervention services are likely to make more progress and have better long-term outcomes," says Bierman. She adds that the long-term benefits of early intervention can decrease the costs of lifetime care by over two-thirds.

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Tags: In This Issue, Special Needs

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