Local News

Apr 2, 2014 1:21 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Soaring Statistics for Children Diagnosed with Autism

CORPUS CHRISTI - Children born with autism is more common now, than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control revealed, that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Which leaves organizations like H.E.L.P, a local nonprofit to make sure, those diagnosed don't slip through the cracks.

Doctor Ridge Hammons, the Program Director with H.E.L.P - Hammon's Education Leadership Programs says, understanding is the first step in helping children born with autism or teenagers who develop it.

"Get involved in their lives, be a part of their situation, try to find the job that's right for them, instead of cramming them into a cubby hole. Over half of the clients we get from the Department of Assistive and Rehab Services do have some form of Autism, some form of disassociation that makes it difficult for them to get a job on their own," Dr. Hammons said.

He says he's not surprised by the soaring numbers from the CDC because of the way the fast-paced world is today. Many factors play a role in the development of A.S.D.

"The society has changed so much, so many more demands, information overload, when you get too much information in your system, you either absorb it or you back away from it," Dr. Hammons added.

H.E.L.P works with many autistic people and ultimately finds a career path that fits them. They're success in doing so, has gotten them a spot on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Statewide Team.

"Being involved in that and helping with the establishing rules and regulations hopefully we'll attract more attention, as a 501-C3, we only spend what we can raise," he added.

Along with fundraising and on-site job tours, Hammons says they work closely with specialists, in hopes of leveling the playing field for those with autism.

To show support for Autism Spectrum Disorder, H.E.L.P will participate in the 8th annual Autism Awareness Walk. It will be held this Saturday, April 5th from 10a.m. to 1p.m. at Cole Park.

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