The readers’ forum

Autism affects millions globally

 

You’ve probably seen the statistics: One in 88 children — and one in 54 boys — born in the United States will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For years, many people didn’t understand what autism was all about.

Thankfully, that has begun to change through the efforts of so many, including Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and organizations such as the Autism Society and Autism Speaks, as well as several celebrities who have someone in their family with an autism diagnosis.

April is National Autism Awareness Month with a special emphasis on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, when, to bring attention to autism awareness, students, faculty and staff at NSU will join others around the world by wearing blue.

NSU’s reputation for innovative, hands-on, active learning is evidenced through the educational programs provided at its Mailman Segal Center for Human Development.

For more than 30 years, MSC has been at the forefront providing excellence in early childhood education as well as clinical services for children with developmental challenges with a special focus on the early diagnosis and treatment of autism, community outreach, research and advocacy.

From the Baudhuin Preschool to the Autism Institute to our Starting Right program (designed for children ages 18-36 months), NSU has worked hard to provide a wide variety of options to help those with autism. One of our newest programs, Access Plus, was developed to help college-age students with autism make a smooth transition from high school to college life.

While NSU has made tremendous strides in both the research of and services for those with autism, we’re only one small part of the puzzle. We continue to work to share our findings and serve as a model for others around the nation, and world, to emulate. Unfortunately, there are obstacles to having services like those found at NSU available in communities across the country — the biggest being costs.

Some studies have shown the total cost for those with autism in the United States is approximately $137 billion per year, a number that has skyrocketed since 2006. On average, autism costs an American family approximately $60,000 per year.

While these economic figures are great, the cost of doing nothing will be even greater. We all share the economic costs of autism and we can all share in the solutions.

Awareness and acceptance are the keys. I encourage you to join the worldwide community of individuals with ASD, their families, friends and the people who provide education and support to them on a daily basis by celebrating Autism Awareness Month.

Susan Kabot, executive director, Autism Institute, Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, Fort Lauderdale

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Job-driven training key to stronger workforce

    As the U.S. secretary of labor, I meet with employers around the country of all sizes and from an array of industries. So many of them tell me the same thing: They’re ready to grow their businesses and to hire more people. But here’s the rub: too often, they can’t find workers who have the skills they need.

  • Florida’s “Right to Work’ guarantee

    Charlie Crist stated that if elected governor, he would revisit Florida’s Right to Work Law. But I’m confused as to why.

  • Croc’s death unnecessary

    A comedian once noted that, “There ain’t no cure for stupidity.” That adage again rings true. First, there was the couple swimming in the Gables Waterway in the middle of the night that was were bitten by a crocodile at home minding his own business. Then, somehow, the crocodile winds up dead after trappers reportedly snared it and fought it for 30 minutes.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category