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Autism Stats Exaggerated: Parents Pushing Back This Weekend

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- New statistics released Monday say the autism rate in the U.S. is now 1 in 100. But thousands of parents and child advocates across the country know those statistics are inaccurate.

Misdiagnosis is the hottest emerging autism issue. Each year thousands of children are misdiagnosed with autism, a label parents are often pushed to accept to get help for their children.

This weekend, October 9-11, in 90+ cities around the world, parents will gather to watch the award-winning documentary film that tells the story: <See the trailer & Get local information here.

From Milwaukee to Mexico, and from Fiji to Dar Es Salaam, parents working to persuade the medical community to make more nuanced distinctions about early childhood developmental delays will gather to discuss the issue and watch the film. Parents who accept an inaccurate diagnosis to get therapy for their child often embark on a confusing treatment path, wasting precious time and money.

According to Dr. Stanley Greenspan, who is featured in the documentary, "We basically have to misdiagnose them to get them treatment." Go to

AUTISTIC-LIKE: Graham's Story shows how Erik and Jennie Linthorst eventually found the right help for their 4-year old son, who has sensory processing issues, but is not autistic. "Every child with autism has sensory issues, but not every child with sensory issues is autistic," Greenspan says in the film.

Linthorst produced the film with journalist Jody Becker, a former National Public Radio station reporter and editor. Praised as a "must see," unblinking portrayal of a family's anxiety and education, the film's universal message stresses parent advocacy, no matter what challenges a child may face.

The worldwide event October 10 &11 is co-sponsored by the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation. The SPD Foundation is dedicated to Sensory Processing Disorder research, education, and advocacy, including diagnostic recognition of SPD in the DSM-V.

AUTISTIC-LIKE: Graham's Story has screened at eight film festivals in the US this year, and is a 2009 Freddie Award finalist for outstanding medical reporting. Director and dad Erik Linthorst presents the film at the SPD Foundation's annual conference October 10 in Chicago.


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