April is Autism Awareness Month
Once again the East Brunswick School District joins forces with families, communities, schools, organizations, local government, businesses, volunteers and religious leaders to educate and raise awareness about autism. This year’s theme is, “Autism Awareness...CHOOSE KINDNESS” (designated by Autism New Jersey).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national rate of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 59 children. This statistic is based on their evaluation of health and educational records of 8-year-old children in 2014 in 11 states, including New Jersey. New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation 1 in 34 children or 3% of 8-year-old children. New Jersey’s prevalence continues to exceed and outpace other states. Minnesota is the next highest at 1 in 42.
The following "red flags" may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
- No babbling by 12 months ….No words by 16 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
Over these past 18 years, we have been successful at spreading awareness of the need for early intervention NOW it is of the utmost importance that we CONTINUE to spread awareness about calling attention to the need for “ADULT SERVICES”
See full letter from Program Coordinator Jennifer Zema for more information.