On March 27, 2014, the CDC released new data indicating that 1 in 68 children has autism or a related disorder.
Below is the heartfelt reaction from Heather Showalter, a local autism services professional.
When my colleague called me with the new prevalence data, my heart sank. When I began in this field, autism was truly a rare condition, and I never encountered autism outside of the walls of the state institution where I educated teens with severe autism.
I have seen this change as my career has progressed, as I met autism in public school regular education classrooms, in the community, and then last year, my best friend’s son was diagnosed with ASD. In a million years I would have never guessed this epidemic rate of prevalency could come to pass in just 22 years.
I never stop thinking about how this disorder impacts the affected and their families and friends. I am ALWAYS so appreciative and very inspired by the local work that is done in awareness.
– Heather Showalter, Director of Program Services, The Hughes Center
Heather was a member of the planning team of the inaugural Dan River Autism Awareness 5k in 2012. She continues to be an active participant and an advocate for individuals with autism as a member of The Hughes Center’s team. We are grateful for Heather’s leadership in the autism services field in the Danville area, and for her contributions to the Autism Awareness 5k.
Contact me to share your ideas for raising autism awareness or to join the 5k planning committee.
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