The State University of NY has announced the opening of a new Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, which will provide free consultations to individuals and their families, as well as host workshops and other educational programs for teachers and school administrators.
Located at SUNY’s Old Westbury Campus on Long Island, the Center is one of six in a network in universities and colleges across the state, including at the University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, New York Medical College/Westchester Institute for Human Development and Queens College. While it has received a grant of $40,000 for the first year, the college hopes to double the amount in 2014.
“This center enables us to work alongside our Long Island neighbors and educators so the individuals with autism spectrum disorders can achieve their highest potential and live lives of promise and purpose,” stated the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, president of the College at Old Westbury.
In addition, the Center’s new director Sanja Cale noted that there aren’t enough programs available to families, and is “really hoping to reach those who educate them to bring research-based intervention to them.”
In the meantime, the CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 88 children has been diagnosed with some form of autism, which effects the brain’s normal development of communication and social skills.
Note: News of the Center’s opening comes only a few days after an announcement by the American Psychiatric Association that it has decided to remove Asperger’s Disorder remove from its Diagnostic & Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and reclassify it under the broader Autism Spectrum list.
Insurance companies to determine what treatments get paid for and by schools to determine which students may need additional resources use DSM-5’s. The revisal of DSM-5, however, is not expected to go into force until May, and does not necessarily mean that students previously diagnosed with Asperger’s will lose any additional help in school.