April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to not only recognize, but to open up and accept individuals with autism.
Up until last year, this had been referred to as Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Society of America suggested by the name change to encourage people to move beyond awareness and into acceptance of those affected by autism. This change in mindset can help drive positive changes for individuals and families affected by autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism. More than 7 million people in the U. S. are on the autism spectrum across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. There is a growing need for first responder training and employer advocacy programs. For more information regarding these and other types of autism support, please visit the Autism Society.
If you’re treating a child you suspect may have ASD or another developmental disorder, remember that PAR has products to assist you, such as the PDD Behavior Inventory™ (PDDBI™), the PDDBI-Screening Version, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF2).
There are additional free resources on the PAR Training Portal for those who specialize in assessing and treating autism or other learning disorders. Located under the Achievement/Development header, you can find a recorded webinar on how to use the PDD Behavior Inventory (PDDBI) on PARiConnect as well as an interactive course on the PDDBI family of products.
In December 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their recommendations for the screening of autism for the first time since 2007. Here is a brief summary of the new guidelines issued by the AAP.
· All children should be screened for symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at all visits.
· Developmental and behavioral screenings should be performed at the 9-month, 18-month, and 30-month visits.
· Standardized autism-specific screening tests should be performed at 18 and 24 months of age.
One of the primary reasons for the change is that children with ASD can be identified as young as toddlers. As with many conditions, early intervention is crucial and can influence outcomes.
PAR is proud to publish an instrument that can help clinicians adhere to these new guidelines. The PDD Behavior Inventory™ Screening Edition (PDDBI-SV) can be used to screen children at risk for autism spectrum disorder as young as 18 months. It can be administered in 10 minutes or less, letting you know quickly if the child is at risk.
If further evaluation is warranted, PAR’s PDDBI and the PDDBI ASD Decision Tree can also be used with children as young as 18 months of age.
The PDDBI family of products is growing! Free interactive training on how to use PDDBI products is now available on the PAR Training Portal. Whether you are a long-time user and want a greater understanding of the product or are considering purchasing for the first time, this course will give you greater insight into the assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the decisions made when developing the PDDBI, and how the different components work together. The PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7. Visit partrainingportal.com today!
In addition, we are pleased to announce the release of the PDDBI Parent Form in Spanish! In addition to the Spanish form, we are releasing a white paper by Amy Kovacs Giella that explains the translation process. According the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 13% of the U.S. population primarily speaks Spanish at home. With autism diagnoses steadily rising, identification of Spanish-speaking individuals who may be at risk is vitally important. With the introduction of the PDDBI Parent Form in Spanish, this significant portion of the population can now benefit from the PDD Behavior Inventory product family for detection, diagnosis, and progress monitoring.
PAR is proud to announce we have added a white paper on how to use the Autism Spectrum Disorder Decision Tree with the PDD Behavior Inventory to our website. This supplemental resource will help readers use the products for screening and intervention planning.
Customers can find the new white paper under the Resources tab on the PDDBI page or via this direct link.
The PDDBI: Autism Spectrum Disorder Decision Tree (ASD-DT) can help clinicians navigate the challenging path of a possible autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Using scores from the PDDBI Extended Form, the ASD-DT can help identify an ASD subgroup or a non-ASD diagnosis. The ASD-DT and the PDDBI provide a standardized measure to help clinicians work through many possibilities to provide precise intervention recommendations.
Let the PDDBI: Autism Spectrum Disorder Decision Tree (ASD-DT) help you find the way when navigating the challenging path of a possible autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Using scores from the PDDBI Extended Form, the ASD-DT leads you toward a diagnostic category that can help identify an ASD subgroup or a non-ASD diagnosis. The ASD-DT and the PDDBI provide a standardized measure to help you work through many possibilities to provide precise intervention recommendations. The ASD-DT can be purchased on its own or as part of the PDDBI Comprehensive Kit. Learn more today!
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on March 30 announced that 1 in 88 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, by age 8, reflecting a dramatic increase in diagnoses in the past decade.
The CDC Web site includes not only the full report but also a summary page that provides an overview of the findings on prevalence, risk factors and characteristics, diagnosis, and economic costs. Some highlights:
With this news, more parents, educators, and medical professionals may be wondering whether a growing environmental threat could be the source of the problem. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times by reporter Alan Zarembo, however, gives voice to another perspective. “Autism researchers around the country said the CDC data—including striking geographic and racial variations in the rates and how they have changed—suggest that rising awareness of the disorder, better detection, and improved access to services can explain much of the surge, and perhaps all of it,” according to Zarembo.
One thing is clear: autism spectrum disorders are affecting a growing number of families. Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks, sums up the reaction of many in the autism community: “With the new [CDC] numbers now showing that 1 in 88 children in the United States are being diagnosed with autism—nearly a doubling of the prevalence since the CDC began tracking these numbers—autism can now officially be declared an epidemic in the United States.”
ASDs have touched the lives of many of us at PAR, as well, and we are committed to supporting research and services in our community to help families dealing with autism. On April 21, PAR staff members will be participating in the 2012 “Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Tampa Bay.” This annual event brings together “Team PAR” with thousands of other local autism supporters to raise funds for autism research. Last year, PAR was one of the top fundraisers for the Tampa Bay area—a record we hope to top this year!