The executive leadership team at Anderson Center for Autism today responded to the news from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that autism prevalence rates are now 1 in 36.
The neurological disorder, which impacts 4 times as many boys as it does girls, presents with a wide range of communication, sensory processing, and socialization challenges.
Said Patrick Paul, CEO/Executive Director of Anderson Center for Autism, “As incidence rates continue to grow, our team at Anderson Center for Autism is steadfastly devoted to our mission of optimizing the quality of life for people with autism. With more of the population being diagnosed, we intend to continue expanding upon our continuum of services to the best of our ability while working to empower our broader community and society with the information needed to be more helpful, accommodating, and inclusive.”
Anderson Center for Autism, originally established nearly a century ago in 1924, has long been providing educational, vocational, and residential services for people with autism (who come from all over the United States to experience the award-winning school and residential setting). In addition, Anderson Center International (ACI) has for many years hosted scholars from countries throughout the world for a 12-18 month training program at Anderson’s Staatsburg campus; during that period, scholars gain the education needed to improve schooling, workplace environments, and overall therapy and care for people with autism upon returning to their home countries.
Another well-known aspect of the organization is Anderson Center Consulting and Training (ACCT), which ensures that individuals, leaders, municipalities, schools, businesses, and entire communities have the training needed to gain designation as being “Autism Supportive.”
Said Paul, “In addition to the 24/7 work we do through our educational, vocational, and residential programs, those aforementioned outreach efforts, Anderson Center International and Anderson Center Consulting and Training, among others – are becoming even more crucial with prevalence rates on the rise. These are the types of initiatives that allow us to share our knowledge in ways that can make a more far-reaching impact.”
Dr. Tina Marie Covington, Chief Operating Officer at Anderson Center for Autism, “We have been working in myriad ways over recent years to expand our reach and footprint, having recently added to our programs the Cold Spring Early Learning Center in Pine Plains and The Anderson Center Clinic and Early Learning Academy in Latham. In addition, we launched ECHO Autism Best Practices, a case-based learning program that offers school personnel from all over the world an opportunity to connect and learn from experts in the autism field. We want to do all we can to be a resource – and we will continue to seek out opportunities to do so. Ultimately, the more people with whom we can share knowledge and services, the more we can cultivate a culture of real acceptance.”
Added Covington: “And while there is no known cause of autism, we do know that the evidence-based methodology we use across the board in service delivery has led to tremendous success for our students and residents. And we also know that the supportive programs we’ve created for parents, guardians, caregivers, siblings, and community members have been valuable to all of them as well. With 1 in 36 now diagnosed, this is no longer a situation of ‘you may know someone’ – but rather ‘autism impacts all of us.’ Thus, everyone needs to get engaged and develop an understanding of how it presents and what can be done to maximize potential for this population at agencies like ours, at home, and in our schools, communities, and neighborhoods – throughout our society.”
Added Paul: “This latest CDC data really solidifies the fact that we all need to pay attention and embrace every opportunity to be helpful.”
For more information, visit andersoncenterforautism.org.