Clearly autism is a public health concern, more urgent by the minute. While some of the increase in diagnosis is due to better identification, there is a great deal unknown about the reasons behind the increase. There is no single gene that causes autism, but genetic studies are yielding important clues. A variety of environmental factors may contribute to autism, and different people may have autism due to different causes. Until the causes are identified, it is likely that the increase will continue.
The CDC study also found that far fewer Hispanic children are being diagnosed than the number expected based on their representation in the total population. The estimated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders was significantly lower among Hispanic children than among non-Hispanic white children significantly lower than among non-Hispanic black children in the majority of the states included in the study. This, along with U.S. Department of Education figures that indicate that Hispanic children are under-represented in the category of autism in Special Education (and not over-represented in another category), points to under-diagnosis of autism in Hispanic children. It is possible that if all the Hispanic children who actually have autism are evaluated and identified, the incidence figures will be even higher than they are now. Socio-economic and cultural factors such as access to medical care and a language barrier can be obstacles to evaluation and diagnosis.
In light of these facts and figures, and the daily demands of meeting the multiple, complex needs of individuals with autism, Asperger Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) parents and professionals need reliable, practical information to understand what autism is, and find effective ways to treat the social, communication, and behavioral features of the developmental disorder. With so much competing and conflicting information flooding the media, parents and professionals need to learn about effective, evidence-based approaches and practical advice for everyday challenges.
The Hearts for Autism Fund, Community Outreach of Southern New Mexico, and AIT Kids have joined together to bring autism expert Emily Iland, M.A. to Las Cruces to share her personal and professional insights in two free seminars, one in English and one in Spanish, on April 14 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces New Mexico.
Emily Iland, M.A., is a parent, author, advocate, educator and leader in the autism community. She is the co-author of Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z (2004), and translator and publisher of the award-winning Spanish version, Los Trastornos del Espectro de Autismo de la A a la Z (2005). Emily’
Ms. Iland is an adjunct professor at California State University Northridge in the Department of Education. She is a founder of the award-winning CLEAR safety Program in Santa Clarita, California, designed to reduce criminal involvement of individuals with disabilities through a collaborative, multi-faceted, community-wide education program. Emily is the mother of three children, one of whom is an adult with ASD.
From 9:00-11:30 a.m. Ms. Iland will present El Autismo: Información Esencial
Parents of children who are newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders often have no idea what autism is, exactly how it affects their child, or what to do. Families can be stressed and intimidated by the challenges of raising a child with ASD, and not know where to turn for help. Teachers and other professionals new to autism also have similar questions.
This workshop in Spanish is particularly important because many Hispanic children are not being diagnosed with autism due to an information barrier and a language barrier. The workshop offers clear information that helps parents understand what autism is, know why their child received the diagnosis, and identify the kind of help and support the child or adult may need.
Attendees will understand the meaning of the diagnostic criteria for Autism and Asperger Syndrome and at a personal level, be able to identify the features of autism that a specific person has. To help them navigate the education and service systems, participants will learn to clearly describe an individual’s needs to educators and other service providers. Finally, to increase understanding and support participants will learn to explain what autism is to others, including to the person with autism
From 12:30-2:30 pm, Ms. Iland will present Ten Essential Skills That Everyone Needs to Know.
Participants will learn about the ten essential skills that can increase safety, success, and independence for people of any age. The presentation includes real-life examples and strategies for teaching, preventing problems in the community, and increasing community participation for individuals on the autism spectrum and related disabilities.
This workshop is suitable for parents, family members and caregivers of individuals with disabilities from toddler age to adult. The workshop is helpful to teachers and staff, and specialists such as speech and language pathologists and behaviorists. Individuals with disabilities may also increase self-awareness and find guidance for personal goals from the presentation.
Don’t miss these excellent workshops on April 14 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces New Mexico. Get details and register for the 9:00-11:30 a.m. presentation El Autismo: Información Esencial and the 12:30-2:30 pm, presentation, Ten Essential Skills That Everyone Needs to Know by calling Missy at 575-526-6682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . For additional information contact Emily Iland at 661-297-4205 or email email@example.com