DDI Shines A Light On Issues Facing The Adult Population With Autism
December 17, 2008
(Smithtown, N.Y.) Following up on the success of last year’s conference, the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) collaborated once again with two other leading Long Island-Metro based agencies dedicated to serving individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, Eden II Programs and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA), to present a groundbreaking conference that educated nearly 300 attendees to the intrinsic issues of a population growing older with autism.
According to the Autism Society of America, before the early 1990s, autism was rarely talked about, with only four cases diagnosed per 10,000 children. By 2007, a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a rate of one case of an autism disorder per 150 among 8-year-old children. The population of adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders is escalating at an alarming rate.
“Although recent advances in the education and early intervention of children with autism have resulted in remarkable outcomes for some, many individuals on the spectrum will require some level of support throughout their lives,” stated Peter Pierri, DDI’s Executive Director. “This annual conference helps to address serious concerns that must be considered when thinking about the future and what services and funding are available when children with autism grow older.”
DDI, Eden II and NSSA brought together a panel of inspirational Keynote speakers and noted experts from a variety of fields that made presentations on an array of issues including employment, housing, transition, behavior models, quality of life, sexuality, medications and many more. New York State OMRDD Commissioner Diana Jones Ritter and Organization for Autism Research (OAR) President Peter Gerhardt, Ed. D., along with many nationally renowned clinicians and researchers in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders, participated in numerous presentations and workshops.
DDI is a not-for-profit agency headquartered in Smithtown, NY, with more than 30 locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. Serving nearly 1,000 children and adults with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), DDI is the largest provider of services for individuals with autism on Long Island. It provides educational, vocational, and residential programs, as well as medical and dental services for over 1,500 children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. DDI also operates family-centered preschool programs for both children with disabilities as well as typically developing students. DDI was founded in 1961 by a group of parents to address the special educational and therapeutic needs of their children with autism or other developmental disabilities. DDI is a member agency of the United Way.
Photo: Nearly 300 conference attendees were educated on the issues facing the adult population with autism.
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