April 16, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
April is National Autism Awareness Month. Angel MedFlight is honoring students at Gateway Academy by providing them with a special donation and an educational event.
The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years). As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:
- Does not babble or coo by 12 months
- Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
- Does not say single words by 16 months
- Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
- Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age
Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team. This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, and developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.
The Autism Society
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence rate for autism is now 1 in 68, which is an increase of over 30% from the 2008 CDC report. “The Autism Society continues to be concerned with the increasing prevalence of autism. In the next few days, many will discuss the reasons behind the new prevalence rates. The Autism Society and our 110 local and state affiliates are ready and willing to assist the growing population, now in the millions, of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “We know that a diagnosis doesn’t always mean services will start right away; whether it’s screening, diagnosis, interventions, or services, the earlier we take action, the better,” said Scott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. For more information, go to: The Autism Society press release.
Gateway offers a different approach to learning for students that have had frustrating experiences at other schools Their program help build self-esteem and encourage learning. They customize the learning for their students.
Gateway Academy provides a unique educational environment for students from age five to nineteen years of age with Asperger’s syndrome, High Functioning Autism, PDD-nos, social/behavioral issues, emotional and social difficulties and specific learning difficulties associated with spectrum disorders.
Angel MedFlight Gives Back
We’re excited to have the students from Gateway Academy visit us and give them the opportunity to tour the hanger and see our aircraft up close. During the visit the students will get to visit several information stations in the hanger to ask questions and learn about the aircraft, flight medicine, aircraft maintenance and more. There will also be games, prizes and photo opportunities. We’re also pleased to announce that we will be donating 15 iMac computers to Gateway Academy for the students. We hope that these computers will help benefit the schools already terrific academics program at Gateway and we feel privileged to be able to help in honor of National Autism Awareness Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 68 children in the U.S. currently has autism, and reports show that number could be even higher. The number represents a nearly 30 percent spike from estimates just years ago calculating one in every 88 children had the disorder.