News from the ASA and CDC

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
News from the ASA and CDC
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 11:33pm
The following was released by this afternoon by the Autism Society of America's press secretary. If you are a member of the ASA then you have already recieved this in your email. I am posting it here for those non-members who wish to read it:


ASA and CDC Launch National Autism Awareness Initiative

The Autism Society of America (ASA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have partnered in a major new initiative aimed at boosting awareness of the importance of early screening and intervention for autism. The program, known as ChildScreen, is designed to encourage parents with a child showing signs of developmental delays to seek help for their child, even before a clinical diagnosis of autism has been made.

The program was announced on July 18, 2003, by U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Claude Allen at the ASA National Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. An announcement was simultaneously made by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, who said: "The number of people diagnosed with autism is on the rise. The impact on families as well as autism's profound effect on the nation's educational and health care systems points to the need for a better understanding of this troubling condition."

Lee Grossman, chair of the ASA Board of Directors, explained the importance of the new initiative. "Our nation is in the midst of a national health emergency, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the CDC on this important initiative. We believe this initiatve will help countless parents ensure their children's autism is identified in its early stages so that intervention can begin immediately and outcomes for these individuals can be significantly improved."

For more information about ChildScreen, including the visual presentations about the program made at the conference by ASA President Rob Beck and Jose Cordero, MD, MPH, Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, click here, or visit the ASA Web site ( and click on the photo of Claude Allen.