The important message for State policy makers to understand, whether in the legislature or executive branch, is that while there is a latent underserved population requiring services, the population is increasing by as much as 15-19% per year. The prudent action is to take action now, before the increase in the population makes such improvements even more difficult.
1.Expand the Autism Registry to include all ages rather than just birth to 18.
The intent of the Autism Registry was to develop statewide data and information for planning and research purposes. To be effective in meeting this purpose, the registry must be fully implemented. This will assist the State to identify individuals with co-morbid disabilities including mental health and physical disabilities and to develop more accurate information about the number of adults on the spectrum requiring services.
2.Educate health care and community providers regarding the importance of registering individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in the Registry.
3.Expand training opportunities within school districts to address the diagnostic and educational issues related to children with autism who are educated in their home districts so that data is more accurate and educational instructional practices are appropriate for students with Asperger Syndrome and other high functioning ASD’s.
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