Thursday, July 13, 2017

Free Autism Screenings Planned for Sept. 25


The Pervasive Parenting Center (PPC) will provide free autism screenings from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sept. 25 in Sallisaw.

The screenings will be by appointment only and will be held at Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw.

Thanks to training from the Oklahoma Autism Center, and a donation from the Cherokee Nation, the center will offer screening services on a monthly basis.

“We know that early identification and intervention are key to ensure optimal outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders,” said Kodey Toney, PPC director. “The initial stage in this process is awareness and screening. That is why we are doing this.”

Screening provides families who have concerns about their child's development to quickly and efficiently find out if their child is at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder and needs further assessment.

Toney said screening is not the same thing as diagnostic evaluation and cannot identify whether a child does or does not have autism. Instead, screening is a tool, or stepping stone, that can determine what the next step should be.

Toney said the screening can show possible risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder or other delays and what sort of further assessment may be needed. All screenings include resources and referrals to help the family take the next steps toward providing for their child's long-term developmental health.

“We saw a need in the area,” said Toney. “We have some screening resources in the area, but they are very limited, and have become harder to access. This is something that we can offer and bring it to the families if necessary.”

According to the Center for Disease Control 1 in 68 are diagnosed with the neurological disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects children’s social and language skills. The PPC was created to help families in eastern Oklahoma find resources available for people with disabilities. For more information, or for an appointment call (918) 647-1255, or tyarbery@pervasiveparentingcenter.org.


Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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