Welcome to the VFN Autism Web Resources !
Thank you for visiting our Autism Resources. We hope you find the information you are looking for and invite your feedback. Your input is important to the development of these resources.
We want to hear from you, are there any ASD topics you would like us to host on our webinar series? Click here.
Vermont Family Network (VFN) provides families of individuals with Autism and the people who support them with family centered, accessible information, appropriate referrals and assistance. We can assist families and individuals with:
- phone support
- information and help navigating complex systems of care
- answering questions, and connecting them with resources
Our goals are to provide information on Autism, Adulthood, Autism Treatments, Calendar of conferences,events and trainings statewide, Camps and Recreation, Directory of providers, Education, Funding, Kid’s Corner, Legislation, News, Resources, Safety, Support groups, and Vermont’s Response to Autism.
Information about Autism Spectrum Disorders:
What is Autism?
Autism is one specific condition within a larger group of conditions known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disorders that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Included in this group are :
- Autistic Disorder or classic Autism,
- Rett Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Asperger Syndrome
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD/NOS)
Because there are some overlapping symptoms across these disorders, Autism, Asperger and PDD.NOS are often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The words Autism, ASD and PDD are used interchangeably. The word “spectrum” is important in understanding Autism because it refers to the wide range of behavioral signs, symptoms, and degrees of severity that affect individuals. Each individual on the spectrum is an individual, and their needs are unique and specific to them.
There are other disabilities and disorders that also have a high incidence of Autism. Fragile X is a genetic disorder that sometimes is the cause of the Autism Diagnosis.
What is the prevalence of Autism?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities. Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children aged 6-17 in the U.S. increased from 1 in 86 in 2007 to an estimated 1 in 50 in 2011-2012. The report is based on data from a national telephone survey of parents. The increases in prevalence were greatest for boys and older children. Children who were first diagnosed in or after 2008 accounted for much of the observed prevalence increase. To learn more about these findings, see Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children (March 20, 2013)
As your child grows and develops, there are many developmental milestones that occur. If you suspect your child has Autism there are several red flags to look for; speak to your physician about screening for Autism , learn the signs and act early.
- Video information about child development milestones are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Audio clips providing information on Autism are available through the American Academy of Pediatrics.
There are Best Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Pervasive Development Disorders in Vermont.
Where can you go if you have concerns about your young child?
- A visit to the child’s physician and a possible referral to the Child Development Clinic at the Children with Special Health Needs (VT Department of Health)
- Vermont’s Parent Child Centers. They serve as clearinghouses for general information about child and family issues.
- Children’s Integrated Services (CIS). They provide services for children under the age of 6. If you are the parent of a child age 6 or younger, and you have questions or concerns about a suspected developmental delay or condition, you can contact the CIS coordinator in your region.
- Under Child Find in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, each school district is responsible to evaluate children ages 3 through 21 that are suspected of having a disability. Contact your local school for the name and number of the Special Education Coordinator if you suspect your child has Autism.
There are many resources and websites to visit that are available to help families navigate a new diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Fact sheets on Autism Spectrum Disorders are available in English and for other languages, click here .
We value your feedback and hope to hear from you. We value your input as we continue to develop and improve these pages. To complete the survey, please click here.
The development of this website was fully funded by a grant to the Vermont Department of Health from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.