ROBBINSVILLE, NJ, October 29, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In response to the growing need of families across New Jersey for reliable information regarding autism diagnosis and treatment, Autism New Jersey announced today that it has expanded the services offered through its 800.4.AUTISM Helpline. This unique resource, and the recent expansion of services, is supported through grant funding from the New Jersey Department of Health.
Autism is an urgent public health concern. A 2014 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that nationally, 1 in 68 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Of even greater concern, the study reported that New Jersey itself has the highest ASD rate, with 1 in 45 children. These numbers mark an increase over the last decade both nationally and in the Garden State.
"Once a person is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, the next step is to find out what kinds of services are available," states Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Executive Director of Autism New Jersey. "Our 800.4.AUTISM Helpline is often the first line of support for parents when they learn that their child has autism."
The experienced Helpline staff possesses an in-depth knowledge of New Jersey resources, service systems and New Jersey regulations for a wide range of ASD services. This includes treatment options, early intervention, special education, healthcare insurance as well as lifetime care. Representatives provide individualized needs assessments and can match those needs with relevant resources in local areas, which include family support, medical services, and adult services.
Googling "autism resources and services" returns more than 15,400,000 results in less than a second. Weeding through massive amounts of search information is time consuming and may fail to provide the person with evidenced-based and accurate information. By contrast, the 800.4.AUTISM staff efficiently connects families to credible and reliable information and resources in a focused, down-to-earth and accessible manner. They deliver the sometimes-complex messages clearly - helping people understand and untangle complex public and private service delivery systems. Members of the Helpline staff are always supportive, understanding and compassionate. "The Department of Health is proud to partner with Autism New Jersey to help families and professionals effectively connect with services," stated Dr. Marilyn Gorney-Daley, Director of Special Child Health and Early Intervention Services for the New Jersey Department of Health.
Autism New Jersey's recently expanded web-based referral system, which replaced downloadable referral forms, provides easier access for families searching for service providers and autism professionals. Referral lists are maintained for providers and includes: applied behavior analysts; adult day and vocational programs; adult community residential programs; childcare and respite; dentists; diagnosticians; lawyers; pediatricians; psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counselors; recreation; speech, occupational and physical therapists; summer camps; and support groups.
"Living with autism is a lifelong journey," adds Dr. Buchanan. "And the 800.4.AUTISM Helpline is here every step along the way to provide clear, compassionate guidance for navigating services throughout the state of New Jersey and across the lifespan."
Representatives of the 800.4.AUTISM Helpline can be reached weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Information is also available by visiting the Autism New Jersey online referral system anytime at autismnj.org/referral. All services are provided free of charge.
ABOUT AUTISM NEW JERSEY
Autism New Jersey is a nonprofit agency committed to ensuring safe and fulfilling lives for individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them. Through awareness, credible information, education, and public policy initiatives, Autism New Jersey leads the way to lifelong individualized services provided with skill and compassion. Founded in 1965, Autism New Jersey is the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Public policy work in Trenton, an annual conference and its Helpline (800.4.AUTISM) are just several of the many ways the organization makes a difference for New Jersey's autism community.
For more information about Autism New Jersey, please visit: autismnj.org or contact:
Manager of Communications and Marketing
Autism New Jersey
For more press information, please contact:
Ilena Della Ventura