News Article Details

Supporting, educating about autism in Logan County

News-Democrat & Leader - 3/24/2017

March 20--On Sunday, April 2 "World Autism Day" marks a time set aside for bringing about support and awareness to a disorder that is rising in numbers by the year. According to the National Autistic Society, Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives, but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

Logan County will be hosting its annual "Light it up Blue for Autism" event Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. at the outdoor pavilion at the Logan County Extension office. This is the forth year for the event.

A blue balloon release will be held at 1:45 p.m. There will be sensory stations set up, inflatables for the kids, music will be provided by Clay Bilyeu, and a spectacular magic show will be performed by illusionist Jordan Allen. There will be door prizes and refreshments. A silent auction will be held as well to benefit the local school's special education department. Resource information from BRADD, Life Skills, New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding, CLIK, Kids Spots Center, and more will be available.

"This event is fun for the whole family. Wear blue and come join the big event as Logan County celebrates individuals in our community living on the Autism Spectrum," said Melissa Campbell, one of the event organizers.

The following are some statistics according to the Autism Society:

* About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder.

* Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births.

* More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.

* Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68).

* Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability.

* Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010.

For more help

The Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN) established a new Office of Autism in 2014.

The Office of Autism creates a centralized location to coordinate statewide and regional efforts to enhance the quality of life and independence to individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and to support their families and caregivers.

The office improves coordination of autism resources within the system of care supporting both children and adults with autism and help make those resources available to families and self-advocates. The office provides administrative support to the Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders to unify and promote initiatives aimed at improving Kentucky's system of care.

The CCSHCN has a long history of serving as a coordinator of services in the sometimes fragmented health care system to help ease the burden of chronic conditions for families and individuals. CCSHCN's new autism office works to coordinate throughout the cabinet with others that currently provide services and supports to families and individuals coping with behavioral manifestations of autism spectrum disorders. These agencies include the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities; Department for Medicaid Services; Department for Community Based Services; Department of Public Health; and Family Resource and Youth Service Centers. The CCSHCN also coordinates with other state agencies, such as Kentucky Department for Education.

For more information about the Office of Autism, please contact 859-447-7792.

To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.



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