PORTLAND, OR / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / For thousands of Oregonians and their families, a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been an important step toward living their fullest life. During Autism Awareness Month, Footprints Behavioral Interventions (www.autismfootprints.com), a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, is working to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis and timely intervention.
'Research has found that early diagnosis of autism at age two to three and interventions at or before preschool age are more likely to have major long-term positive effects on symptoms and later skills,' said Corey Stump, MA, BCBA, clinical director of Footprints Behavioral Interventions who oversees team members in Oregon and Washington. 'It is unacceptable that the average age of autism diagnosis in America is still four to five years of age. We see every day how earlier diagnosis can lead to positive outcomes later in life by maximizing the lifelong impact of intervention.''
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened with an ASD-specific instrument during well-child visits at ages 18 and 24 months in conjunction with ongoing developmental surveillance and broadband developmental screening. A person with ASD might:
- Not respond to their name by 12 months of age
- Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- Have delayed speech and language skills
- Flap their hands, rock their body, spin in circles, or engage in other repetitive behaviors
- Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel
Footprints Behavioral Interventions focuses on ABA therapy, which helps children with ASD improve social interactions, learn new skills and maintain positive behaviors. In 2013, the Oregon legislature passed a law requiring that ABA therapy be covered by insurance, including the Oregon Health Plan, with certain limitations. Based on data from the CDC, approximately 1.7 percent - more than 700 - of the babies born in Oregon annually will be diagnosed with ASD by the time they are eight years old.
''The Behavior Analysts at Footprints design ABA programs with the ultimate goal of improving the child's quality of life,'' said Stump. ''We involve families every step of the way, tailoring programs that address functional skills, reduce and replace challenging behaviors and apply natural language strategies to improve communication and social skills. There can be challenging days, but it is very rewarding work.''
During Autism Awareness Month, Footprints is supporting families who will participate in the Autism Society of Oregon's upcoming 17th Annual Autism Walk in Portland on April 28th as well as the 1st Annual Autism Walk in Albany later in the spring. The autism walks raise funds for the Autism Society of Oregon to send autistic children to camp, fund educational workshops for parents of autistic children and provide a lending library of books on autism. Additionally, the Footprints Team is hosting a free play group for families affected by Autism in Albany, Oregon on Saturday April 27th at Albany Splatterbox for a day of family fun.
About Footprints Behavioral Interventions
Established in 2004, Footprints Behavioral Interventions is an ABA service provider in for children with ASD in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Michigan. Our positive behavior support services are provided in the home, school, community and vocational settings. At Footprints Behavioral Interventions, we are committed to your child's growth and development every step of the way. To learn more, visit www.autismfootprints.com.
Ms. Julia Nguyen
SOURCE: Footprints Behavioral Interventions