Help, resources available for families facing autism diagnosis

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Courtesy: Autism Society of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 29, 2015) – April is Autism Awareness Month, but the Autism Society of Indiana wants families to know resources are available to them anytime.

“The saying is, if you’ve seen one child with autism, you’ve seen one child with autism,” said Dana Renay, Chief Executive of Indiana’s Autism Society and mother of an autistic child.

Renay’s now 12-year-old son was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

“At that time, he was non-verbal, ran away,” Renay said. “But with all the early intervention, with ABA and social skills, speech and occupational therapy, he’s now in a mainstream sixth grade classroom with no aid.”

She says families need to take advantage of resources available.

“We have a lot of different practitioners who are doing a nice job of doing early assessment and diagnosis of autism,” she said.

Nationwide, one in 68 people is diagnosed with autism; in Indiana one in 50 people is diagnosed.

“It’s very overwhelming,” Renay said.

She says families don’t have to deal with this alone. Emotional help exists, as does financial help, education, training, and respite care.

“We have that personal experience and we can help them understand what their options are, where they can go to get the support,” Renay said of resources offered by the Autism Society of Indiana. “We go with them to the schools so they can make sure that they get the services that their child might need.”

Renay said no single cause or cure for autism exists, but it is treatable.

The organization says, studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

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