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Autism Speaks, CDC and The Advertising Council Launch Program to Educate Teachers About Importance of Early Intervention for Autism
Date:9/24/2008

lasts throughout a person's life. ASDs occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and are four times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network released data in 2007 that found between 1 in 100 and 1 in 300 with an average of 1 in 150 8-year-old children in multiple areas of the United States had an ASD.

Research has shown that early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in the life of a child with autism. In fact, with appropriate early intervention services, from ages 3-5, between 20% and 50% of children diagnosed with autism will be able to attend mainstream kindergarten. Educators, who interact with and observe children on a daily basis, are in the ideal position to know if a child's development seems delayed.

"It is critical that teachers feel comfortable approaching parents and speaking frankly about any concerns they have about their young students," said Alison Singer, Executive Vice President of Autism Speaks. "This important new tool will facilitate those conversations and ensure that kids who may have a developmental delay get the services they need as early as possible."

"It's important for all those who interact with children, on a regular basis to talk with parents when they are concerned about a child's development. It may be a difficult conversation, but it could make an immeasurable difference for a child who needs services at an early age to reach their full potential," says Edwin Trevathan, M.D., MPH, CDC's Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

The Ad Council and Autism Speaks initially launched an autism awareness campaign in 2006 in an effort to raise awareness about the developmental disorder and to urge parents to learn the signs of autism. The campaign has thus far generated more than $147 million in donated print, broadcast and
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