Statewide campaign pushes for early detection of autism, related disorders

From the University of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Universityof Louisville's Autism Center at Kosair Charities will kick off a statewideprogram April 1 to help parents, teachers and caregivers recognize the earlysigns of autism.

The ongoing campaign, "Learnthe Signs. Act Early In Kentucky," steps up outreach efforts duringApril's National Autism Awareness Month with free, public workshops, webinarsand print materials that can be downloaded from a website.

"We want our message toreach anyone and everyone who spends time with children," said ScottTomchek, co-clinical director for UofL's autism center and Kentucky ambassadorfor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Act Early program.

The campaign is a partnershipthat includes the autism center, University of Kentucky Human DevelopmentInstitute, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Cabinet forHealth and Family Services and autism support groups.

Harold Kleinert, executivedirector of UK's Human Development Institute, said the statewide push toincrease the public's understanding of autism and related disorders can have abig impact.

"Doctors rely, in part, on aparent's observations when it comes to assessing a child's developmentalprogress," Kleinert said. "So educating the public helps the doctorwho, in turn, can find ways to help children who aren't reaching developmentalmilestones when they should."

To learn more about the campaignor download materials, see<> orcontact Rebecca Grau, assistant director of UofL's Autism Center at KosairCharities, at 502-852-7799.