Social media continues to buzz with current events running the gamut between what Caitlyn Jenner is wearing, to what political pundits are saying. While these topics receive national attention, a much more pressing issue goes often unnoticed, until April. In April puzzle pieces and blue lights will again garner media attention. Walks will be organized, commercials featuring famous celebrities will grace television sets, and for a brief time the nation will focus on the increasing statistics of prevalence in alarm. For far too many families autism impacts their way of life every day, and often without much relief or supports.
Autism currently affects 1:68 children, 1:42 boys as they are affected five times as often as girls. Reports from the CDC place school age (6-17) statistics of autism at 1:50. The introduction of insurance funded over three services now provide therapies to children diagnosed beyond the old early intervention cutoff. While this will benefit children who are being diagnosed later, what happens when knowledge of early developmental milestones are unknown to parents?
Jacqueline Williams-Hines, founder of No Small Victories, works to educate the community on developmental milestones and red flags of autism to promote earlier diagnosis. A parent of an eighteen year-old son diagnosed on the autism spectrum, Williams-Hines is very passionate about the organization’s mission. Employed as a behavior therapist as well, she has seen improvement in children’s social skill deficits and communication with intervention, both hallmarks of the autism.
“It is very important that people know what the early signs look like. It may not necessarily be your child, but family. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a huge difference developmentally” says Williams-Hines.
To learn more visit: http://www.nsvonline.com
To support this organization please go to http://www.gofundme.com/NoSmallVictories
Jacqueline Williams-Hines, Contributing Writer