It’s a common neurological disorder and its numbers continue to rise every year.
On Saturday, April 23 from 1 to 3pm at the NationsWest Field House in North Battleford, the Prairie North Health Region is hosting an Autism Awareness Event in recognition of Autism Awareness Month.
It’s essential to support children living with the neurological disorder from infant age to five years old, which is a task that can be especially difficult in rural areas according to Kim Roorda Occupational Therapist with the health region’s Autism Services.
“The services here are somewhat limited. In the rural communities it’s hard for people to be able to get services frequently because they have to be driving quite a distance to be receiving services,” she said. “Children with autism need a lot of services, especially with zero to five year(s) old, we like to see them at least once or twice a week depending on the severity of their symptoms.”
According to information from the Prairie North Health Region Autism Spectrum Disorder, one in every 68 children has the condition, a number which has grown 120 per cent since estimates for 2002 and 2000. Early therapy is essential as each child with autism experiences their own unique challenges when it comes to the areas of communication, socialization and behavior. The spectrum nature of the disorder results in each child developing unique skills, abilities and needs.
The free event aims to inform people about the disorder and raise awareness about the support people living with autism require. The afternoon will also feature some raffles, free food and bouncy castles for the kids.
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