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ErinoakKids to recognize the first official World Autism Awareness Day in Canada on April 2, 2013

March 27, 2013
MISSISSAUGA, March 27, 2013 – On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day will officially be recognized in Canada for the first time. As a provincial leader in providing autism services, ErinoakKids is proud to also recognize this important day.
 
“Autism diagnoses per capita have been increasing for more than a decade,” says ErinoakKids president and CEO Bridget Fewtrell. “Once a diagnosis is made there is a great deal that can be done to help the child and family. It’s amazing to see the strides these children can make with the help of therapists and family involvement. Our challenge is the increased need for resources in order to provide services to all the children who need them.”
 
Approximately 185 ErinoakKids autism staff members serve more than 2000 children and their families annually in Halton, Peel, Dufferin, Waterloo and Wellington. ErinoakKids provides a comprehensive range of services and supports to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. This includes Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)-based Services and Supports, and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) and Connections for Students. The ErinoakKids website also provides a comprehensive collection of ASD resources for families.
 
About Autism
The term autism applies to a spectrum of diagnoses involving impaired communication, difficulty with social interaction, and often very restricted and repetitive behaviour. Children with an ASD are usually diagnosed by the age of three.
 
Autism Speaks Canada now reports that 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys are affected by autism, a 78% increase over 6 years.*
 
Autism is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.**
 
Approximately 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism.***
 
There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. The autism diagnosis is made by an experienced medical or psychological practitioner based on observations of certain characteristics.  An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual's communication, behaviour, and developmental levels.
 
From the Greek autos meaning “self,” autism literally means “alone.”
 
About ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest children’s treatment centre, serving more than 12,500 children and youth annually who have physical and developmental disabilities, autism, and communication disorders as well as children who are deaf or blind. Our mission is to help our clients achieve optimal levels of independence, learning, health and well-being. Serving Halton, Peel, Dufferin — and, for some services, Waterloo and Wellington — ErinoakKids has 600 staff and nine sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of assessment, medical, therapy and support services that help children and their families. In 2011 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services approved a redevelopment project to enable ErinoakKids to consolidate its current facilities into three larger sites which will be ideally situated for easy access within our catchment area, and designed specifically for the care of children and youth with special needs.  The new facilities are expected to open in 2017. For more information about ErinoakKids please visit www.erinoakkids.ca.
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Media contact:
Liz Leake
Director of Communications
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
Office: 905.855.2690 ext. 4301
Mobile: 416.624.9048
lleake@erinoakkids.ca

*Autism Speaks Canada, www.autismspeaks.ca
** Sicile-Kira, Chantal. 2004. Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs. New York, NY: The Berkley Publishing Group.
*** Coleman, Mary, ed. 2009. The Neurology of Autism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
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