For more than 50 years, The Warren Center, a nonprofit agency providing professional evaluations, therapy services, and support to children with developmental delays and disabilities has been able to provide services and resources to North Texas families. The Warren Center will be expanding its growing list of services to include Autism Assessment Services.
“Autism is much more common in today’s society than parents might think. 1 in 54 children has autism. Signs of autism tend to emerge when a child is between the ages of 2 and 3, though some children can present symptoms of autism as early as 1 year of age. Research has shown the earlier a child begins receiving needed services and therapies, the better.,” says Amy Spawn, CEO of The Warren Center.
“Unless a family can afford $3,000 - $4,000 out of pocket for an initial autism assessment, they potentially will have a 6-12 month wait just to get an appointment for that assessment. That time is critical to detect early signs of autism and affects treatment plans to address specific behaviors as early as possible. If we can shorten the wait time for that initial assessment appointment, a child can begin receiving life-changing treatment and therapies even earlier, which has a greater impact on their life.” she says.
Research has shown that early intervention can improve a child’s overall development. Children who receive autism-appropriate education and support at key developmental stages are more likely to gain essential social skills and react better in society. Essentially, early detection can provide an autistic child with the potential for a better life. Parents of autistic children can learn early on how to help their child improve mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout the developmental stages with assistance from specialists and organizations, according to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation.
“We plan to start offering these assessments as part of a pilot program in June for children ages 2-5, regardless of their location, and it is to those efforts that our Spring fundraising is focused,” says Leslie Clay, Vice President of Development at The Warren Center. “We estimate the startup costs for our Autism Assessment Program to be $267,000 for the first year.”
The Warren Center is currently asking for financial help from the community in this #growstrong initiative. For more information or to donate, visit: https://thewarrencenter.org/ways-to-give/donate/