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Prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade, Rotarians hear

Autism has become a public health crisis, affecting one percent of the world population according to Bermuda Autism Support and Education (BASE)

Speaking to the Hamilton Rotary on Tuesday, Autism Consultant Susannah Cole said that worldwide, around 67 million people have Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD.

“ASD is diagnosed in one in 110 individuals and affects four times as many males as females,” she said. “The prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade leading The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States to call it a national public health crisis.”

While ASD affects different people to different extents, in each case those affected experience difficulty with communication, learning and other social skills.

Founded in 2001 to help educate the public about ASD, BASE hosts numerous activities and events in an effort to spread awareness, including offering autism assessments, parent support groups and autism training, all free of charge.

“Over the past ten years, BASE has held more than 50 workshops reaching hundreds of parents, educators, and interested community members,” Mrs Cole said.

“BASE provides ongoing support at home and in the community to children on the autism spectrum and their families through the employment of a full-time autism consultant.

“In addition, BASE partners with various Government departments and agencies to enhance local services available for ASD individuals as well as with local organisations to facilitate children with ASD to participate in summer camp.”

Useful website: www.bermudaautism.org.

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Published March 03, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated March 03, 2012 at 6:57 am)

Prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade, Rotarians hear

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