MASON CITY, Iowa – There is a jump in youth autism cases, at least according to one government organization’s new report.
While it may be because doctors are better at diagnosing the disorder, instead of more children with autism, for families who deal with it each day, it shines a light on the fact that having support for their kids, is crucial.
One in 68 children in the U.S. has autism those numbers are according to a new study from the centers for disease control which suggests the developmental disorder is on the rise.
“It sparked something in me.”
Vicki Ries is a mother of 4 children; one is on the autism spectrum.
Hearing the new numbers is prompting her to take action.
“That number is so big, yet we do so little to help them and I think that needs to change and it just got me going to get out there more and really help people, help families that are impacted by this,” says Ries.
She’s the president of a non-profit organization called Special Kids, Special Love which helps out families with children who have autism and other special needs.
Ries is working with the hospital to get board certified services for these children. Right now there are none in the area.
“So there’s no real means of diagnosis around here. There’s no help for these kids so many kids just go through the system as behavior disorder or other issues rather than really seeking the help that they need.”
“I do think autism is on the rise,” says Christina Maulsby.
Maulsby is the program director for the Children’s Autism Center at Opportunity Village.
She not surprised by the CDC’s new findings but says the data is based on a 2010 study that just looked at 8 year old children so she doesn’t believe the numbers are totally accurate.
“The only really true way to test if this is accurate info would be if you were to follow a child from live birth and test them every 6 months to really get an accurate read, well obviously that’s not feasible so the CDC does the best they can with pulling the numbers but it’s not probably the most accurate,” says Maulsby.
The center also realizes the need for a board certified analyst in the north Iowa area.
“We are actually in the process of doing a national search. In the state of Iowa there’s only 53 BCBA’s is what there called. And so getting that and then we’ll be able to offer that intensive one on one ABA, applied behavior analysis therapy.”
Therapy that Ries believes her son Jones will benefit from.
“Autism is so complicated that without the top qualified, board certified help that they need, you need to be careful there kids need some help and it has to be the right help.”