Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 2013 Year in Review

As 2013 draws to a close, the Autism Spectrum Resource Center takes a look back at the year in review.
February 23, 2013, was the second anniversary of ASRC. Families attended a picnic at a city park, while the children played.
March brought the second book fair benefitting the ASRC parents resource library.
April was Autism Awareness Month, and the month was chock full of events bringing awareness. A month long art exhibit, a House Resolution successfully passed and proclaimed by Texas State Representative Abel Herrero, the Autism Rocks! Concert, the 7th Annual Walk for Autism Awareness at Cole Park. This was the first year the Autism Spectrum Resource Center held the event, which was organized by Sandra Lynch.
South Texas Underground Films showed self made films by individuals with autism.
The Centers for Disease Control released new numbers from their study, showing the prevalence of autism spectrum diagnoses at 1/50.
May brought a farewell to Doreen Lund, and her family, as they left Corpus Christi, to move to another state. Doreen Lund was the co founder of the Autism Spectrum Resource Center, and the organizer for the Meetup/CCASTEAM social events.
June brought a hello to Monica Jimenez-Brown, Program Director. Monica is also organizing the Meetup social events. If you haven't joined Meetup, please visit www.meetup.com/CCASTEAM, and sign up for free. We look forward to meeting you and your family.
June also brought new changes to the DSM-5. One of the changes was the elimination of the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. For more on the new changes, please read the blog about the new DSM-5 changes on this site.
The summer months were cooler with Splash Days at area pools. Parents and their children kept chill during the dog days of summer.
The second annual Kids Talent Show was held on August 3, and was a huge success. Lots of talented individuals!
There were also 2 Life Skills Classes on Street Safety. The first class was at a private home, and the second class was held elsewhere, and included Corpus Christi Representative Brenda Rodriguez, with special guest, McGruff the Crime Dog.
October was Fire Prevention Month. Monica Jimenez-Brown organized two events; a presentation by Fire Captain James Brown, and the second one being a tour of Fire Station # 1.
The 22nd Annual Texas Autism Conference was held in Corpus Christi this year. Organized by the Texas Education Agency, and the Education Service Center, Region 2, it featured Keynote Speaker, Dr. Patrick Schwarz.
Rounding out the year, there were not one, but two Christmas parties for the children of the Autism Spectrum Resource Center. The first was the annual Christmas party, held at a private home. The second was held at a local company, X2Zero, in Corpus Christi. What a treat for the kiddos!
December also brought two new board members, Lisa McGrew, and Keri Brock. Welcome to ASRC, Lisa, and Keri!
The Autism Spectrum Resource Center thanks you and your families for being a huge part of ASRC. As the new year approaches, we continue looking forward to being the hub of resources for everyone in the autism community.
Happy New Year's!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Local company hosts Christmas party

X2Zero, a local company, hosted a Christmas party and Family Activity Day for individuals with autism. Benefitting the Autism Spectrum Resource Center, the event was a success for the children, with a moon jump, and gifts from Santa. Thank you, X2Zero, for a wonderful event!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Autism Spectrum Resource Center Welcomes new board member

The Autism Spectrum Resource Center welcomes Keri Brock to its board of directors. Keri has worked over 10 years with individuals with autism, and has taught special education for 6 years. She is the autism specialist at a local school district, and is in the process of taking the exam for board certification in behavior analysis, while pursuing her Ph. D in Educational Psychology.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Autism Spectrum Resource Center December Book Fair

The Autism Spectrum Resource Center had a book fair on December 14, 2013, at Barnes & Noble. Being the holiday season, ASRC staff gift wrapped presents, and volunteers did arts and crafts with the children. One of the children read a story during story time. Several cast members of 'A Christmas Carol', sang Christmas carols, to the delight and participation of children and adults.

Monday, December 9, 2013

ASRC welcomes new board member

The Autism Spectrum Resource Center welcomes Lisa McGrew to its board of directors. Lisa has been very active volunteering for ASRC, and we are very happy she is joining the board. Lisa McGrew graduated with a BA in English/Reading, and has taught for 20 years. She is working on her Masters degree in Educational Psychology. She is a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome.

ASRC Third Annual Christmas Celebration

This past Saturday, the Autism Spectrum Resource Center held its third annual Christmas party, for children on the autism spectrum, and their families. Organized by ASRC Program Director Monica Jimenez-Brown, the celebration was a delight for the children. There were arts and crafts, a bouncy house, food, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus himself, who handed out presents to each child and their siblings. The party was held at the home of one of our families. One of the children read a story to everyone, just before Santa arrived. Lots of wonderful memories were created that afternoon.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

22nd annual Texas Autism Conference

The 22nd annual Texas Autism Conference was held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, on October 17-18. Keynote Speaker was Dr. Patrick Schwarz, professor, and motivational speaker. The conference is sponsored by the Texas Education Agency, and coordinated by the Education Service Center, Region 2. ASRC staff and board members participated in a presentation, and staff also took part at the welcome reception and parents panel, along with 2 other parents.

ASRC hosts 2 events for Fire Prevention Week

ASRC Program Director Monica Jimenez-Brown organized 2 events this month, on fire prevention. Corpus Christi Fire Department Captain James Brown spoke at a dinner on October 8, on general fire safety. Having a fire safety plan in place at home can save lives. On Saturday, October 12, Fire Station #1 hosted a tour of their station for the families. Children and their parents learned how firefighters answer calls, how they spend their shifts at the fire station, and saw fire trucks up close. They even saw a fire fighter dress up in his uniform, which is called bunkers. The children and adults who attended had a great time learning the operations at a fire station.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

ASRC Life Skills Class on Street Safety

ASRC held a Life Skills Class on Street Safety at the home of a volunteer and a parent of an individual with autism, on Monday, August 12.
On Wednesday, August 28, a second Street Safety class was held at Parkway Presbyterian Church, with a presentation by Brenda Rodriguez, Crime Prevention Advisor, at the Corpus Christi Police Department. Following a question and answer period, McGruff the Crime Dog stopped by to say hi, and take pictures with the families. Afterwards, the families went for a short walk, crossing an intersection, and practicing their street safety rules. Thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

ASRC Second Annual Talent Show

The second annual ASRC Kids Talent Show was a huge success! The children showed their amazing talent, from telling jokes, playing the piano, singing, dancing, drawing, and demonstrating martial arts, to the delight of their families, and the audience. Everyone did an outstanding job!

Summer 2013

ASRC kicked off the summer season with a splash! In June, children and families cooled off with a refreshing event at the Aransas Pass Aquatic Center. We had so much fun, we had to do it again, with another Splash Day, this time at the Portland Aquatic Center, on July 29.  Children and their parents had an amazing, fun time, keeping cool and socializing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reducing the risk of elopement or wandering

The issue of elopement and autism is very common. According to www.nationalautismassociation.org, nearly half, or 49% of all children  with autism will attempt to elope from a safe or known environment.

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering and elopement.
32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning.  
62% of families of children who elope were prevented from attending/enjoying activities outside the home due to fear of wandering
40% of parents had suffered sleep disruption due to fear of elopement
Half of families with elopers report that they had never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional
Only 14% had received guidance from their pediatrician or another physician
Interactive Autism Network Research Report: Elopement  and Wandering (2011)
National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD and Wandering (2012)

We hear about it on the news, or read it in the paper or online. It is difficult to know what motivates someone with autism to wander from home, and to go away from people when lost, instead of towards people. What makes this critical for autistics, is that they may not respond when called, they have little sense of danger, and they may be non verbal. Lack of public information also makes this critical. Most people do not know how to communicate effectively with children who have autism. If an unfamiliar adult tried to ask your child safety information such as 'Where are your parents?' Would your child respond?
Many parents report their child gravitates towards water, so nearby lakes, ponds, and creeks may continue to be a desired destination.  Too, someone with ASD is likely aware when attention has shifted away from them, and will take the opportunity to slip out quickly in order to reach a desired area or item of interest.  Family gatherings or other events may give a false impressions of “all eyes on” someone with ASD.  However, heavy distractions can present opportunities to leave unnoticed.  Visiting relatives or episodes of distress also may increase the risk for wandering.  This holds true in warmer months when persons with ASD are more likely to play outside or attend summer or day camps.

Just like any behavior, there are many different ways you can reduce the risk of your child wandering from home, or bolting away from you when out in public.
Three main techniques used by an ABA therapist are:

Reducing Risk
Antecedent Interventions
Consequence Intervention

Reducing risk: Before going out in public, explain to your child where you are going. Use simple language, and talk about your expectations for their behavior. Teach your child to respond to their name, (verbally or non verbal). Provide praise for staying near you in public. Plan the outing in advance, know where the exits are, if its a crowded location, or near a busy street, bring another adult with you to help catch the child in case they attempt to elope. Consider getting an ID badge or bracelet for your child, and carry a recent photo ID of your child at all times. If your child is verbal, teach them to respond to safety questions such as "What's your full name? What is your phone number and address?"

Antecedent Interventions:
This would involve changing the triggers that precede elopement. Some children wander away when they see an interesting object. Some children may wander away because its loud and crowded, and they are seeking a quiet place. Pay attention to how your child acts before they attempt to elope, such as covering their ears, walking slowly behind you, staring intently at items or objects. Get to your child's level, and ask if they need to take a break. If the child is non verbal, you can teach them to hand you a break card, and when they do, they can have a supervised break. Teach the child to request a supervised break, instead of just wandering off.
Once you have identified the triggers, teach your child replacement behaviors.  If they wander in the middle of the night, teach them to stay in bed when they cannot sleep.  If they wander outside, teach them that they need permission first.  Use picture cards if your child is non verbal.  Put the picture card away at night, to signify that going outside at night is not an option.

Consequence Intervention:
This would involve changing the way you react to your child wandering away, or attempting to do so. Once you determine why they elope, whether its to gain attention, or to escape, do not give them the response they are seeking. If the child bolts at the grocery store because you are striking up a conversation with another shopper, then do not provide huge amounts of attention for their elopement behavior. Go get the child with minimal eye contact and language, and bring them back to where the cart is. You also want to be sure to teach them how to get your attention appropriately. You can teach your child to request your attention, such as tapping you, or saying your name. Practice appropriate behaviors for bring in public, and staying near an adult. Use praise and encouragement.
Other ways to reduce risks of wandering:

Secure your home. Consider contacting a professional locksmith, security company, or home improvement professional to promote safety and prevention in your home.  This may require installing dead bolt locks that require keys for both sides, a home security system, inexpensive battery operated alarms on doors and windows, hook and eye locks above child’s reach, and adhering printable STOP signs on doors, windows and other exits such as gates.

Tracking devices such as Project Lifesaver or LoJack SafetyNet services.  Various GPS tracking systems are also available.  

ID bracelets that include your name, telephone number, and other vital information.  They may also state that your child has autism and is non verbal, if applicable.  If your child will not wear a bracelet or necklace, consider a temporary tattoo with your contact information.  You can use a Sharpie or other marker, and seal with liquid bandage for a temporary tattoo.

Alert your neighbors.  It is recommended that caregivers plan a brief visit with neighbors to introduce their loved one, or provide a photograph.  Decide what information to present to neighbors; like attractions or fears, sensory issues or meltdown triggers.  

Alert first responders.  Provide key information before an incident occurs may improve response.  Favorite song, toy, or character, important phone numbers, favorite attractions and locations, likes, dislikes, fears, triggers, and de-escalation techniques, method of communication, whether verbal or nonverbal, uses sign language, picture boards or written words. Map and address guide to nearby properties with water sources and dangerous locations highlighted.
In Corpus Christi, Robin Palmer Blue is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a Music Therapist at Therapy Connections.
Sources for this article, and others that may be of help:
www.missingkids.com 1-800-THE-LOST

Friday, July 12, 2013

Water Safety Tips

Summer is here, and it's a great time to explore the outdoors with your children. . Autism presents a unique set of safety concerns for parents. The advocacy and awareness groups, Unlocking Autism, (UA), and the National Autism Association, (NAA), have teamed up to provide the following safety information for parents. Not all suggestions listed below are right for every family in every neighborhood. You should carefully consider the best safety options for your individual child, according to www.autismspeaks.org.

Some things to consider...

Teach your child to swim

Too often, children with autism are often attracted to water sources such as pools, ponds, and lakes. Drowning is a leading cause of death for a child or adult who has autism. Be sure your child knows how to swim unassisted. Swimming lessons for children with special needs are available at many YMCA locations. In Corpus Christi, the YMCA is located at 417 S. Upper Broadway.
Call 361-882-1741, or visit www.ymca-cc.org, for more information.
 The final lesson should be with clothes on.

The May Institute, www.mayinstitute.org,  has this advice:
• Find the right (typical or adaptive) life jacket that best meets your child's needs to wear anytime the child is near water- pool, lake, river, fountain, pond, hot tub, or any open water.
• Always be within arm's reach of the child when he or she is in or around any open water.
• Be sure to drain bathtubs, and other small containers of water when you are finished using them. Put safety locks on toilet seats; motion detector alarms / safety locks on all hot tubs, landscape ponds, or other water sources around your home.
• Take adaptive swim classes with your child at an early age. Many YMCAs and Parks and Recreation Departments offer these classes. If your child has difficulty learning conventional swimming strokes, teach him or her drown-proofing, a water survival technique that will help a child stay afloat until help arrives.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Therapeutic Listening for sensory processing disorders

Therapeutic Listening for sensory processing disorders

Therapeutic Listening is an evidence-based auditory intervention intended to support individuals who experience challenges with sensory processing dysfunction, listening, attention, and communication.
Since the auditory system has connections to many parts of the brain, sound is a powerful way to access the nervous system and affect changes at all levels.  The music in Therapeutic Listening albums gives the listener unique and precisely controlled sensory information.  The music
gives the listener unique and precisely controlled sensory information.  The music is electronically modified to highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that naturally trigger attention and activate body movement. In addition to the electronic modifications, Therapeutic Listening capitalizes on the organized rhythmical sound patterns inherent in music to trigger the self-organizing capacities of the nervous system. 

Clients listen to specifically recorded and enhanced music via headphones as a part of an in-clinic and/or home therapy program. Therapeutic Listening is implemented as part of a home program designed by a trained therapist to suit the unique needs of each client. There are five different series of music, with over 45 album selections, from which therapists can choose to develop a custom therapy program to suit the individual needs of each client.
Practitioners and caregivers commonly report seeing improvements in:
•    sensory modulation
•    posture and movement
•    attention
•    improved social interactions
•    increased engagement in the world
...all leading to gains in day to day function and communication. 

To gain a more in-depth understanding of commonly reported areas of change, please read more in our results section.
- See more at: http://www.vitallinks.net/pages/About-Therapeutic-Listening.php#sthash.V3sQKAK8.dpuf

Monday, July 1, 2013

"New DSM-5 includes changes to autism criteria"

  • New DSM-5 includes changes to autism criteria

    1. Susan L. Hyman, M.D., FAAP
    The American Psychiatric Association has just published the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder has been modified based on the research literature and clinical experience in the 19 years since the DSM-IV was published in 1994.
    Changes include:
    • The diagnosis will be called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and there no longer will be subdiagnoses (Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Disintegrative Disorder).
    • In DSM-IV, symptoms were divided into three areas (social reciprocity, communicative intent, restricted and repetitive behaviors). The new diagnostic criteria have been rearranged into two areas: 1) social communication/interaction, and 2) restricted and repetitive behaviors. The diagnosis will be based on symptoms, currently or by history, in these two areas.
    Although symptoms must begin in early childhood, they may not be recognized fully until social demands exceed capacity. As in the DSM-IV, symptoms must cause functional impairment.
    All of the following symptoms describing persistent deficits in social communication/interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, must be met:
    • Problems reciprocating social or emotional interaction, including difficulty establishing or maintaining back-and-forth conversations and interactions, inability to initiate an interaction, and problems with shared attention or sharing of emotions and interests with others.
    • Severe problems maintaining relationships — ranges from lack of interest in other people to difficulties in pretend play and engaging in age-appropriate social activities, and problems adjusting to different social expectations.
    • Nonverbal communication problems such as abnormal eye contact, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures, as well as an inability to understand these.
    Two of the four symptoms related to restricted and repetitive behavior need to be present:
    • Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements or use of objects.
    • Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patters of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change.
    • Highly restricted interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus.
    • Hyper or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment.
    Symptoms must be present in early childhood but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed capacities. Symptoms need to be functionally impairing and not better described by another DSM-5 diagnosis.
    Symptom severity for each of the two areas of diagnostic criteria is now defined. It is based on the level of support required for those symptoms and reflects the impact of co-occurring specifiers such as intellectual disabilities, language impairment, medical diagnoses and other behavioral health diagnoses.
    Rett syndrome is a discrete neurologic disorder and is not a subdiagnosis under ASD, although patients with Rett syndrome may have ASD.
    Because almost all children with DSM-IV confirmed autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome also meet diagnostic criteria under DSM-5, re-diagnosis is not necessary. Referral for reassessment should be based on clinical concern. Children given a PDD-NOS diagnosis who had few DSM-IV symptoms of autism or who were given the diagnosis as a “placeholder” might be considered for more specific diagnostic evaluation.
    Patients may wish to continue to self identify as having Asperger syndrome, although the DSM-5 diagnostic category will be ASD.
    Clinicians should note that children with ASD also should be evaluated for a speech and language diagnosis in addition to the ASD to inform appropriate therapy.

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    ASRC welcomes new Program Director

    Monica Jimenez-Brown has been nominated and she has accepted the position of Program Director at ASRC, taking over a position once held by Doreen Lund. Monica graduated with a Masters Degree in Counseling, just this past May. She has an exceptional knowledge of autism, and has interned at Spectrum Counseling for the past 1 1/2 years, and has worked at Therapy Connections, and at Hannah's Hope, a private school for individuals with autism.
    Welcome to ASRC, Monica Jimenez-Brown!

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    ASRC and families bid farewell to co founder

    It was with wonderful memories and a little sadness that the Autism Spectrum Resource Center and families bid farewell to the co founder, Doreen Lund. The Lunds are a military family who were stationed in Corpus Christi. In addition to helping found the ASRC with Bill Butler, president of ASRC, Doreen Lund planned many social events, bringing numerous families and individuals with autism together. The Lunds left just this past week, beginning a new chapter. We shall miss them all, and have no doubt that their new community will soon discover what we already know; that Doreen Lund and her family are absolutely amazing!

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Autism Walk Attracts Hundreds

    Families gather to support loved ones
    The sun was shining and the water was glistening as hundreds of family members came out to support the ASRC Autism Awareness Walk at Cole Park on April 20. 

    Started seven years ago by CBAA (Coastal Bend Autism Advocacy) the Autism Awareness Walk has become a tradition in this area.  This was the first time ASRC planned the Walk, and volunteers started preparing months ahead of time to ensure its success.  ASRC was fortunate to get corporate support from HEB, Valero, Denny Bales Jewelers, Whiskey River, Weinerschnizel, Sprouts, Rudys BBQ, and Pepsi, which made the Walk even better.
    Walking along the water

    Some of the highlights included tables with local resources, a child finger printing station, the police museum, food and drink booths and children's activities.  Kids played games, made crafts, got their faces painted and even had balloon animals made.  Parents were able to learn about local organizations and get their questions answered. 

    Mayor Nelda Martinez, Walk Organizer Sandra Lynch,
    Police Chief Simpson and ASRC President Bill Butler
    After some music, the police chief spoke about the police's awareness of autistic individuals and their plans in place in case one was in an emergency.  The mayor spoke as well, and read a proclamation before giving the official "send off" to the walkers.  Police Chief Simpson led the way, with a sea of bright blue shirts following. As the walk completed and the mayor returned, she graciously had her picture taken with several of our special children. 

    Families and groups showed their support by wearing team tshirts and carrying signs for their loved ones.  Music therapy clients played songs, and then some professional musicians performed including Dezi B, a nine year old singer, and Flatline, who sang the emotional rap about autism "When the Children Cry."

    Overall, there were a lot of smiles, positive energy and support- and we can't wait until the Walk next year!

    Autism Rocks the House!

    R&R plays at Autism Rocks!
    The lights were low, the music was playing and the party-goers were enjoying the food and drinks at the second annual "Autism Rocks!" concert at the House of Rock on Friday April 12th.   Sponsored by HEB, Valero, and Denny Bales Jewelers, Autism Rocks hosts several bands who volunteer their time and talent to entertain the crowd.  This year, bands included R&R, Jimmy Willden, and the Melissa Ann band.  

    Friends chatted, danced and took the opportunity to wear the new Autism Rocks Tshirt commemorating the night.  .

    As the evening continued, people practiced their stealth shopping abilities as they secretly increased their bids on silent auction items hoping others didn't notice. Hooks tickets, Vera Bradley purses and Pepsi for a Year were just some of the potential items up for grabs.  
    ASRC sets up at the House of Rock

    Organized by ASRC volunteer Lisa McGrew, Autism Rocks encourages the community to learn more about autism and our organization's goals.  We thank all of the companies that donated food and Silent Auction items to make this fundraiser a great (and fun!) success.  We look forward to next year!

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    April is Autism Awareness Month!

    The Lockett Gallery at the Art Center houses the Autism exhibit
    ASRC is working hard at putting together events for the month of April with the help of several other wonderful Corpus Christi organizations.  It is great to see such support in our community!  Please take a moment and look at the events coming up.  If you are interested in attending, please contact our office at 851-5111, or sign up for our social group at www/meetup.com/ccasteam.

    Coming up...
    Monday April 1 - the start of an Autism Art Exhibit at the Art Center of Corpus Christi. This exhibit lasts all month
    Tues April 2 - World Autism Awareness Day and "Light It Up Blue"
    Tues April 2, 11:30am - Parent Lunch at The Art Center's cafe
    Tues April 9, 5:30pm - Dinner and Speaker: Music Therapy at Legacy Therapy
    Fri April 12, 8pm - Autism Rocks! Concert and Fundraiser at the House of Rock
    Tues April 16, 6:30pm - Kids Social Bingo and April Birthday celebration at First Baptist Church
    Sat April 20, 10am - 7th Annual Autism Awareness Walk at Cole Park
    Sat April 27, 4:30pm - Pajama party and film screening of ASD children's self-made films with STUF South Texas Underground Films.  At the Art Center of Corpus Christi.
    Mon April 29, 5pm - Autism Night at the CC Museum of Science and History

    Thank you to all of the sponsors and organizations for making these events possible!

    Autism Rocks

    Are you ready for a fun night out, that also benefits a great community organization?  Come to Autism Rocks at the House of Rock for upbeat music,  finger foods, cool "Autism Rocks" Tshirts and a Silent Auction! Bands include R&R, American Idol contestant Melissa Ann Band, and back to Corpus Christi for one night only  - Jimmy Willden.  Flatline is also returning to perform his "Autism Rap" live.

    Tickets are on sale now - $10 ahead of time, and $12 at the door.  All proceeds benefit The Autism Spectrum Resource Center a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

    So grab some friends - and eat, laugh and dance.  Show your shopping prowess at the Silent Auction tables - where items such as massages, spa baskets and jewelry are waiting to be taken home.  We look forward to seeing you!  Click the ticket link below to buy tickets online.  Tickets also available at our office -3440 S Alameda.

    New Study Shows Autism Rate is 1 in 50

    According to a new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is occurring at a rate even higher than previously believed.  Health officials say the new statistic of 1 in 50 doesn't mean autism is occurring more often, but it does suggest that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder difficulties.

    This new study asked over 95,000 parents for input during 2011 and 2012, and looked at children's behaviors.  It did not use medical records as the previous study reporting the statistic of 1 in 88 children.  That study had limitations as well, since the data was from 2008 and only reported on eight year old children.  Updated figures for this study are expected next year.

    We've been underestimating" how common autism is, said Michael Rosanoff of Autism Speaks, an advocacy group. He believes the figure is at least 1 in 50.  

    Some children with milder cases may not have been diagnosed previously, but as school becomes more demanding and social situations grow more complex, the children's disability is becoming more obvious, said Dr. Roula Choueiri, a neurodevelopmental pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    7th Annual Autism Awareness Walk

    It is that time of the year again -  the time when many of our families and their friends get together to spread autism awareness throughout the Coastal Bend.  This is the seventh Autism Awareness Walk, and we are hoping it will be the largest one yet!

    Plans are already underway and families are marking their calendars.  It will be held at Cole Park on Saturday April 20th.  Registration begins at 10am and the Walk starts at 10:45 with the mayor's send-off.

    Although we are bringing the same inspirational spirit as past years, some things will be different.  ASRC is planning this year's event, while previous Walks were developed and organized by Coastal Bend Autism Advocacy (CBAA).  We thank CBAA for starting this important tradition and are honored to help it continue.

    2013 Tshirt design
    In addition, there will be a registration donation to walk this year.  Adults are $25.00 and children 11 and under are $10.  Those who register with the donation will receive a free Tshirt and some extra benefits.  Children are encouraged to form a team and gather additional donations if possible; and high achievers will be recognized and brought up on stage.  Anyone can participate in the Walk, but only those with the registration donation will receive the Tshirt and perks.

    You can pick up registration forms at ASRC (3440 S Alameda) or you can sign up online at AsrcAutismWalk.brownpapertickets.com or click the box below.  You can even print your ticket at home.  CLICK BELOW TO REGISTER...