An organization that supports more than 6,500 children and adults with disabilities in Missouri and two other states is pleased with the success of last week’s virtual conference.
Easterseals Midwest autism services director Jamie Fitzgerald says the conference has grown in size as the prevalence of autism grows. Fitzgerald tells 939 the Eagle that the national prevalence of eight-year-olds with autism has increased to one in every 36 children.
“Our mission has always been to get families services and information that they need to help their children and adults with autism,” Ms. Fitzgerald says.
She says there are more than 37,000 children across Missouri with autism, including 987 children in Boone County.
Easterseals Midwest’s 14th annual conference included numerous presentations on issues ranging from resources to social skills to cyber security. Fitzgerald says a social skills deficit is something they see in those who have autism. She describes cyber security as an important topic.
“Making sure that individuals you know especially children and teens and into adulthood really know about keeping safe online. Not sharing information about themselves that should not be shared and making sure they understand the social interactions that occur online as well,” says Fitzgerald.
Easterseals Midwest is the region’s largest resource for families who receive an autism diagnosis.