Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. A combination of genetic and environmental factors influences the development of autism. Autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances.
CDC researchers reported that autism rates in the United States increased from 1 in 150 children in 2000 to 1 in 54 in 2016, and the rate now stands at 1 in 44 children.
They also reported that the number of children who had a developmental screening by age 3 increased from 74 percent to 84 percent, a sign of potential progress toward earlier and more consistent screening by healthcare providers.
The Burke County Public Schools Exceptional Children Program provides exemplary services for Burke children with special needs. Early programs and assistance help children on the autism spectrum develop skills needed to begin Pre-K/Kindergarten.
With the steady increase of diagnosed cases of autism, we must make sure that this program is properly supported to be able to progress and expand. Not only is support for the Exception Children's Program critical for kids on the autism spectrum but for any child with special needs to receive the early intervention and support so that he or she can thrive.