“UT is passionate about furthering research, advocacy and teacher training to improve the lives of those living with autism.” — Mark O’Reilly, Chair, Department of Special Education
Imagine for a moment what it’s like to have autism or to take care of someone with autism. The needs and challenges you face are unique and expensive — and they are life-long. Not only that, far too often autistic people must struggle against social, educational and medical systems built without their differences in mind. But not at The University of Texas at Austin.
Through your support as a member of Longhorn Nation, UT is launching a bold new effort that aims to transform the state of care for autistic people … making a world-changing difference for so many who face this challenge every day.
Called the Lifespan Health Consortium for Autism and Developmental Disorders, this program brings together leading academic, scientific, medical and developmental health experts to implement a new lifespan approach. The impact of this program could be tremendous, as UT researchers will be able to:
- design new diagnostics to reduce the time and complexity of autism screening;
- pioneer interventions to support autistic people’s behavior and communication skills;
- support education, health, employment, aging and independent living for people on the autism spectrum; and
- improve families’ and educators’ abilities to advocate for the needs of autistic children
The goal is to make holistic treatment and services accessible at every stage of life so that more autistic people can meet their own needs, nourish their strengths and live to their full potential.
“In recent years, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with autism,” says Mark O’Reilly, the Department Chair of UT’s Department of Special Education. “According to the CDC, the prevalence of autism has increased from 4 to 5 per 10,000 live births a decade ago, to 1 per 100 today. This is why UT is passionate about furthering research, advocacy and teacher training to improve the lives of those living with autism.”
The generosity of friends like you plays a crucial role in this endeavor, as your support is helping elevate every aspect of our health care response and setting a new standard of care for Texas and beyond. So thank you for your support of this bold new endeavor to help those on the autism spectrum thrive!
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