WVPT to host informational seminar on developmental disability

Affecting 1 in 150 people, it is more prevalent than AIDS, pediatric cancer, and diabetes put together. It hinders an individual’s ability to use proper communication and social skills. It strikes males four times more than females, but impacts all races, ethnicities and cultural groups. However, with a vast amount of treatments available and more awareness and money being devoted to the cause, there is promise for those affected by Autism.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. It can be described as a spectrum ailment with cases that are quite mild to very severe. There are difficult sensory problems that are associated with Autism. These include difficulty relating to other people, delayed speech and language, repetitive and obsessive compulsive behaviors and improper function of the five senses.

There is no specific cure or cause for Autism. Recent scientific studies suggest that genetics do play a role, but are not the entire cause. More research is being done to pinpoint triggers and other factors for what causes Autism.

Despite unknown causes and at the present time, unknown cures, there are many treatments and therapy options available to those living with Autism. WVPT – Virginia’s Public Television, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, and James Madison University want to help educate parents, teachers, and professionals about the disorder.

On Friday, September 11, 2009, a seminar, Explore Autism, will be hosted at James Madison University’s Memorial Hall. The seminar will be from 1:00 – 5:00 P.M. Speakers and break-out sessions will be part of the itinerary to further enhance knowledge on the subject of Autism for those who attend.

In addition, on October 4 WVPT will broadcast a PBS program titled AUTISM: We Thought You’d Never Ask. In this program, six adults living with autism discuss their thoughts and feelings in intimate and explicit ways. During this program, one will see the world through their eyes and discover what it is like to occupy their bodies.