Autism Speaks Early Access to Care Initiative
Autism Speaks has officially endorsed the Six by ’15 Campaign! Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks is now the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.
Their Early Access to Care Initiative seeks to reduce the average age of diagnosis and increase access to high-quality early intervention for all children on the autism spectrum. This initiative will help achieve our goal of increasing the proportion of children who receive recommended developmental screening and improving access to services for children identified by that screening.
According to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. While early detection is critical, research shows that many parents have very little knowledge about autism and its symptoms. Many studies have also documented that racial ethnic minority populations and those of lower socioeconomic status are diagnosed later. The earlier children are identified, the earlier they are able to receive early intervention services. Evidence-based early intervention services have been shown to reduce the core symptoms of autism, improve IQ and daily functioning.
Improving this unacceptable situation will take the combined efforts of families, healthcare professionals, educators and autism advocates in every community.
Resources of the initiative include:
- First Concern Action Tool Kit
- Resources for Parents
- Engaging Professionals
- Engaging Community Partners
- Research and Progress in Early Intervention
Information En Espanol: Acceso Temprano A Servicios – Autism Speaks