Autism is being diagnosed with more and more frequency; recent reports say 1 in 88 kids in the United States have it. So this time on Kids These Days! we’re talking about autism spectrum disorders. We’ll learn about screening, supports and resources for Alaska families with loved ones on the spectrum, and we'll find out what the future holds for those who are diagnosed with it.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests who work all over the state of Alaska helping families understand and live with autism.
• Kris Green works for the State of Alaska as the Autism and Parent Service Manager and Rural Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Outreach and Autism Screening Clinic Manager. Working in the Division of Public Health, she oversees autism program services and coordinates the statewide screening clinics, held in 10 rural Alaska hub locations. She is a member of the Governor’s Council Autism Ad Hoc Committee which focuses on implementing the 2006 State of Alaska Autism Plan, whose goal is to improve access to care for Alaska children and youth with autism and their families.
• Teresa Hirst is a certified Advanced Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, specializing in new or follow-up patient assessments and evaluations of children with neurodevelopmental and autism conditions from birth to age 18 years. She works with the State of Alaska, traveling to regional hub communities to conduct assessments. She routinely provides patient, family, and staff education on pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders in communities throughout Alaska.
Alaska-specific resources -
National resources -
- Rising Rates and Changes to Autism Diagnosis - Dr. Shubu Ghosh is an Alaska-based child psychiatrist who is currently helping to redefine the diagnostic criteria for autism for the DSM-5. We asked him how the diagnosis will change when the new manual is released in 2013, and why the rates are going up now. He spoke with KTD producer Sarah Gonzales.
- Our Kindergarten Classmate with Autism - New contributor Tara Bicknell takes us into a kindergarten classroom in Haines where the kids are helping the adults learn about autism.
- Therapy Animals Helping Kids with Autism - Sometimes an animal can provide a kind of support that other people can’t. KTD contributor Jessica Cochran met some people working with children and dogs, and learned about the benefits for both humans and canines.