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Healthwatch 16: Autism Awareness Month

Newswatch 16's Nikki Krize spoke with an expert from the Geisinger Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute.

DANVILLE, Pa. — It is estimated that autism spectrum disorder affects one in 44 children. There is no one way to define autism, so it is known as autism spectrum disorder.

According to doctors at Geisinger, one in every 44 children and one in every 45 adults are living with autism. There is a range of different ways people are affected.

"Some individuals having very significant developmental delays, trouble with speech and communication, whereas other individuals may not show as much impact, might have more internal impact than what we can actually see," said Dr. Cora Taylor, a clinical psychologist at Geisinger.

Dr. Taylor says there is no known cure for autism, and it is usually identifiable by the toddler age. The broad range of symptoms can include difficulty with speech, challenges with social skills, and repetitive behaviors. April is Autism Awareness Month.

"It's really about trying to raise awareness in the community. Sometimes, we'll see fundraisers happen around this time or communities just trying to do a lot of outreach. You'll see Facebook campaigns and other social media type campaigns."

Geisinger has two Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI) locations in the Lewisburg and Forty Fort areas. Both sites provide clinical care for people on the spectrum.

"We do a fair number of diagnostic visits for children who, maybe their parents are suspecting they may have autism or another developmental disability. So we do those initial evaluations, and then we also provide long-term follow-up for families."

Get more information from Geisinger here.

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