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Cedar Rapids: Service provider promotes "autism acceptance"

April 2, 2024, CBS2, Cedar Rapids IA: Autism specialist Emily Harriott highlights the importance of Autism Acceptance Month 

Emily Harriott from Caravel Autism Health joined Iowa's News Now Anchor Nada Shamah to talk about the condition, who it affects and how it's diagnosed.


Anchor: What is autism?


Autism is a developmental disorder. We characterize it and diagnose it through a couple of different symptoms. We look at deficits in social communication, social interactions, but also a pattern of behavioral difficulties. . . .  

We can look at diagnosing as early right now as 18 months.

So as parents are continuing their well checks, all of that with their child, they can be starting those conversations with their physicians. . . .

As we continue to diagnose earlier and earlier, we’re able to get services quicker. . . .

For historical data, we know that one in 36 people are diagnosed with autism.

We know four in 100 boys v. one in 100 girls are diagnosed. . . .

Harriott talked about Autism Acceptance Day and Month.

Autism acceptance has really has really continued to develop. A few years ago we were talking more on the autism awareness. In recent years we’ve shifted more to this narrative of autism acceptance and really recognizing that people are now aware of what autism is, at least on the surface level.

And now it’s a matter of helping to integrate individuals into our communities, helping our communities better understand what autism is.

That it’s not some big scary thought. It’s just we’re helping each other out in a different way.

So Autism Acceptance Day and month is really getting at how can we are a community better understand how to support each other, especially those individuals with an autism diagnosis.


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