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Autism Awareness in North Carolina: Together Can be Better

PHOTO: Itís Autism Awareness Month and one message being spread about the disorder is the importance of the inclusion of individuals with autism in the classroom, workplace and community.  Photo courtesy of the Autism Society of Ohio.
PHOTO: Itís Autism Awareness Month and one message being spread about the disorder is the importance of the inclusion of individuals with autism in the classroom, workplace and community. Photo courtesy of the Autism Society of Ohio.
April 25, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), North Carolina has a higher rate of children with autism than the national average. A bill proposed in the state House would mandate that insurance companies cover treatments for autism. Thirty-two other states have passed such legislation.

In addition to proper therapy, experts recommend that children with autism be included in classrooms with their peers. David Laxton with the Autism Society of North Carolina explained why that "mainstreaming" is so important.

"The more that you can see appropriate modeling of behaviors, the more you can learn. That's why most folks want their child to be mainstreamed."

The Autism Society of North Carolina estimates that three families a day have a child born who will later be diagnosed with autism. Laxton said the state has a long way to go in terms of providing enough support and treatment opportunities for these children and their families.

"It's a financial drain," he said. It's an emotional drain, and there are not enough services or folks who do the service out there to be able to meet the needs of everybody."

According to the CDC, autism now affects one in 50 individuals.

April is Autism Awareness Month. More information about autism is available at www.autismohio.org.



Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC