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SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported December 14, 2012

Bernadette Bascom: Helping Children Find Their Voice

More children are diagnosed with autism each year than with juvenile diabetes, AIDS or cancer, combined. (SOURCE: www.childhealthdata.org)

WHAT IS IT? Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children will have some form of ASD, and males are four-times more likely to have an ASD than females. (SOURCE: National Institutes of Health)
 
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Most parents of autistic children suspect that something is wrong by the time the child is 18 months old and seek help by the time the child is age 2. Children with autism typically have difficulties in pretend play, social interactions and verbal and nonverbal communication. 
(SOURCE: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
 
HOW TO HELP: Scientific studies have demonstrated that early intensive behavioral intervention improves learning, communication and social skills in young children with autism. All good early intervention programs share certain features including:
Structured with therapeutic activities for at least 25 hours per week
Employs highly-trained therapists and/or teachers 
Guided by specific learning objectives
Records child’s progress regularly
Focuses on core areas affected by autism: social skills, language and communication, imitation, play skills, daily living and motor skills
Provides the child with opportunities to interact with peers
Engages parents in the intervention
Involves a team that includes a physician, speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist. (SOURCE: www.autismspeaks.org)
 
SMART WOMAN CONTACT: 
Bernadette Bascom 
bernadetteb333@bernadettebascom.com
https://www.bernadettebascom.com/
 
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