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Living with autism; improving awareness and inclusion

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What to look for on Smart Talk on Friday, April 19, 2019:

In 2005, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services conducted a census of autistic individuals receiving services in the state and counted nearly 20,000 Pennsylvanians.

Eleven years later, an updated census found that number increased to over 55,000 children, adolescents and adults with autism.

What accounts for that sharp increase and what do the numbers say today?

April is Autism Awareness Month. The world-wide effort promotes awareness and inclusion for people living with the disorder. In the last quarter of a century, a clearer picture has emerged.

  • Approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States.
  • Boys are four times as likely to diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • Research indicates that genetics are involved in the majority of autism cases.
  • Early diagnosis and intervention can improve learning, communication and social skills.

Appearing on Smart Talk Friday to discuss autism are Dr. Michael Murray, child psychologist and director of Division of Autism Services at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and the director of the central region for ASERT (Autism Service Education Training); and Melanie and Zach Hartzell, a parent and her 19-year-old son who is living with autism.

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Melanie Hartzell, Zach Hartzell, and Dr. Michael Murray.


Smart Talk
Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a lively and thoughtful conversation on a wide range of issues and ideas relevant to Central Pennsylvanians.

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