Kupchick: Autism Awareness Month in Connecticut

To promote Autism Awareness throughout Connecticut, State Rep. Brenda Kupchick joined fellow lawmakers and advocates at a ceremony for Autism Awareness Day at the State Capitol, Wednesday April 6.  The ceremony was filled to capacity with parents and individuals affected by Autism, all meeting to provide support and promote acceptance.

Kupchick said, “I am proud to stand side-by-side with advocates to make sure Connecticut does their part to protect those with autism and their families.”

With National Autism Awareness Month being in April the ceremony was held to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism and developmental disabilities.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that affects one’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe, and this range has been called Autism Spectrum Disorder which covers not only Autism, but Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS.

Last year Kupchick voted to establish Bill of Rights for Students with Autism which gives parents of children who receive special education in Connecticut, a bill of rights outlining educational and transitional services available to them.

In 2013, Kupchick supported a new law that requires certain health insurance policies to at least maintain current levels of benefits for those who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder before the (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is released.

Beginning in 2015, the state Department of Social Services is expanding its coverage of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) evaluation and treatment services for Medicaid enrolled members (HUSKY A, C, or D) under the age of 21 for whom ASD services are medically necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children (or 14.7 per 1,000 eight-year-olds) in multiple communities in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1,000 eight year olds) being identified with an autism spectrum disorder. That is more children than those affected by pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Boys are four times as likely to be diagnosed with Autism as girls, and this disorder affects all races, ethnicities and social groups.

If you suspect that your child may have ASD:

  • Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.
  • At the same time, call your local early intervention program or school system for a free evaluation.
  • It’s never too late to get help for your child.

CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program has joined with others across the federal government to promote developmental and behavioral screening through the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive campaign. The program will help families look for and celebrate milestones; promote universal screenings; identify delays as early as possible; and improve the support available to help children succeed in school and thrive alongside their peers.


State Rep. Brenda Kupchick joined fellow lawmakers and advocates at a ceremony for Autism Awareness Day at the State Capitol.

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