According to the most recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014, one in 68 children will develop autism, one condition in a larger group of development disorders on the autism spectrum.
That means that 1 in 68 kids will grow up potentially struggling with communication difficulties, impaired speech, challenges with social relationships and sometimes severe behavioral limitations.
What's more troubling though – less than half of those children won't receive the critical evaluations they need by the time they turn three, even though physicians and specialists can diagnose autism as early as age two.
And the number is even smaller for African-American and Hispanic children.
Without early evaluation and diagnosis, these children and their families may miss out on critical early intervention and advocacy that can greatly affect their child's quality of life.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we've compiled a list of metro area resources that can help the families affected by autism spectrum disorder overcome their challenges and thrive.
- 100-Day Kit from Autism Speaks – great for families of children ages four and under navigating the first 100 days of an autism diagnosis
- The Emory Autism Resource Center – a resource center located on the Emory Clairmont Campus, catering to both children and adults on the autism spectrum
- The Autism Society of Georgia – support, information and community inclusion resources for people of all ages with autism spectrum disorders
- The Georgia Resource Guide from Autism Speaks – a comprehensive list of available autism resources in Georgia
Medical and behavioral resources
- Getting a Diagnosis – Autism Speaks has provided a list of 72 facilities in the state of Georgia that can help provide an accurate autism diagnosis for your child
- Advantage Speech Therapy Services – ASTS provides 1:1 speech therapy services, including early intervention for children age five and under, speech and language screenings and individualized treatment plans
- Milton Speech Pathology – serving Milton, Alpharetta, Cumming and Roswell, Milton Speech Pathology provides individualized and group therapy, evaluation and treatment for a wide range of communication disorders, including autism.
- The Marcus Autism Behavior Treatment Clinic – a non-profit organization and subsidiary of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, providing behavioral assessments, in-home interventions, and comprehensive, individualized treatments for a wide range of behavioral issues
- Music Therapy for Autism – Georgia-based provider of private and group music therapy services for individuals with autism; helps individuals improve their communication skills, motor skills, attention and social engagement
- The Georgia Advocacy Office – federally mandated, non-profit advocacy services for children and adults with disabilities
- SNAP4KIDS – offering assistance for families and children with special education needs, helping them to navigate the waiver process, health insurance issues and more
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