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Easter Seals Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day, Hosting Series of Community Forums to Identify Needed Services and Supports for Families
Date:4/2/2009

ons and resources. Easter Seals and others in the autism community are doing their best, but current systems, structures and resources to help people with autism and their families do not adequately meet the growing need, especially for adults with autism.

Easter Seals Living With Autism Study Confirms Parents Fears
Easter Seals' Living with Autism Study results reveal parents raising children with autism are very concerned about the future independence of their children. In fact, they're far more concerned than parents of typically developing children - nearly 80 percent say they're extremely or very concerned about their children's independence as an adult, compared to only 32 percent of other parents. This is especially true when it comes to their financial independence, quality of life, social and inter-personal connections, and employment and housing opportunities - and with good reason.

"The study quantifies what we've heard anecdotally over the years," says Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, Easter Seals national director, autism services. "The one consistent message Easter Seals hears from the families we serve - after the initial apprehension and anxiety of learning their child has autism - is an overwhelming concern about the life-long supports their child with autism may need."

Over the last 20 years, Easter Seals has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children and adults with autism the organization serves. Today, as many as one in every 150 children is diagnosed with autism* - that's a new diagnosis every 20 minutes - making autism more prevalent than Down syndrome, childhood diabetes, and childhood cancer combined.

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Easter Seals Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day, Hosting Series of Community Forums to Identify Needed Services and Supports for Families 
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