Holy Angels continues to be a beacon of hope for families in the autism community, with it's new center for Autism in order for those with the diagnosis to overcome obstacles. April is Autism awareness month and a time for the community to celebrate those with the diagnosis.
Holy Angels has 50+ years of experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder and through the new Holy Angels Autism Center, the organization can now serve the greater community, as the need for resources and services is growing. When children come to the Holy Angels Autism Center, they have the opportunity to become part of the Holy Angels family and can function as part of that extended support group. The message to families is “you are not alone.”
Artwork of painted giraffes created by participants of the center can be found lining the walls of the autism center. Holy Angels Autism Center Director, Mary O'Neal says the giraffe symbolizes the difference in every person that is diagnosed with Autism.
"It's about letting the community know that there is a wide spectrum of autism and those diagnosed with Autism are all unique ," O'Neal said.
In 2014, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the prevalence of autism reached epidemic proportions in the United States: 1 in 68 children suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder – 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to therapeutic successes.
Holy Angels completed an intensive study of community needs and gaps in services. This study utilized data secured at national autism conferences, tour of a similar program in Chicago, in-person and telephone interviews, and reports from health insurance providers. Our research indicates that North Louisiana is an area with an increasing need for services for individuals with autism.
To learn more about the Holy Angels Autism Center, visit https://www.laholyangels.org/learn/center-for-autism/.