April is Autism Awareness Month

National Autism Awareness Month graphic with puzzle pieces

According to the CDC (2014) 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Newer research survey suggest 1 in 45 children. It affects more boys than girls at a rate of 5 to 1 which is why the color blue was chosen for Autism Awareness.

Autism Spectrum is a neurodevelopmental disorder which causes significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. To present day there is no known cause or cure for Autism. There are numerous theories about the causes of Autism, but none which have been proven.

How does Autism affect our local communities?  

Here are some numbers from 2011:

  • In Elk County, there were 119 individuals who have an autism diagnosis who received some sort of autism service.
  • In Cameron County, there were 18 individuals who have an autism diagnosis who received some sort of autism service.
  • In Potter County, there were 59 individuals who have an autism diagnosis who received some sort of autism service.
  • In McKean County there were 175 individuals who have an autism diagnosis who received some sort of autism service.

Dickinson Center recognized the need for evaluation and treatment for Autism in this rural area, and the program has grown over the many years. Early identification and intervention for the disorder increases the opportunity for improvement in severity of symptoms, and reduces the life long cost of care by 2/3.