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April is Autism Awareness Month

DENVER – One in 68 kids are autistic. Now researchers are saying many more have not yet been diagnosed. April is Autism Awareness Month.

The problem with diagnosis is that many parents think their kids are just having behavorial problems when in fact they should be treated for Autism.

Jason Houser, 16, is destined to be a screenwriter or actor. He also happens to be autistic.

Jason has a condition called high-functioning Aspergers.

In another case, 10-year-old Logan Zimmerman, who is also deaf, has created his own way of communicating. He was diagnosed with autism after his mom, Shannon Zimmerman, noticed he was socially withdrawn.

“He wasn’t speaking. He wouldn’t play with other kids. He wasn’t learning sign language since he’s deaf as well,” she said.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Hospital discovered that genes responsible for brain evolution might be the same genes linked to the severity of autism.

The signs are problems socializing, focusing and communicating. Pat Rydell of the Rocky Mountain Autism Center says parents should be aware that there is plenty of help available once a diagnosis is made.

“We can no longer hide from the fact there are kids on every block, in every school, in every neighborhood,” Rydell said.

We’re looking at a 30 percent jump in autism cases over the past two years.

For more information about the signs you can visit the National Autism Association. And for more information about support in Colorado, you can visit Autism Colorado.

1 Comment

  • Bryony Ruth Jordan

    My name is Bryony my daughter is 9 years old non verbal low functioning autistic/mood disorder. i saw your piece on autism awareness month and i am very disappointed. every single time this station airs anything about autism it’s a cute little fluff piece about a high functioning child, you always seem to forget the other end of the spectrum the low functioning kids,and the challenges they experiance every single day. My daughter was diagnosed at 4 after headstart and child find tested her they recommended i talke to her dr and helped me fill out a 250 page application to get an evaluation at children’s hospital,because of my daughter’s insurance I had to have the dr sign it. The dr diagnosed her autistic handed me a pamphlet and said good luck with that and refused to sign the referral for the evaulation. An evaluation is key to see where the child is on the spectrum. By the way the waiting list for an evaulation is over a year long if you go with insurance if you pay out of pocket it’s about 6,000$ or more. We got in touch with rocky mountain autism center it was a 2 year wait for services since my daughter was so severe.I have applied for every waiver that is available and each and every one of them was a 5 year waiting list. So sorry to say getting services is NOT easy at all. While we were waiting my daughter got more and more severe to the point of being hospitalized in the children’s psych unit at 8 years old. i have fought tooth and toenail to get my daughter help and seeing these cute little fluff pieces offends me to no end. when it comes time for people to vote they are going to remember your fluff piece and vote no because they are thinking oh these kids are doing great. in the meantime severe kids like my kid are the ones who will suffer because no one wants to hear the real story about Autism. I challenge you to do a real story to see the struggle to see the pain of never hearing your kid say I love you let alone sing the national anthem to have people tell you to lock your kid away because they are having a meltdown due to severe sensory issues. i challenge you to let thier voices be heard

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