April is Autism Awareness Month

April 2, 2012 is World Autism Awareness Day. Learn more at

Currently, statistics show that 1 in 110 individuals are affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The disorder is more prevalent in boys than girls with a four to one likelihood.

According to Merriam-Webster.com, Autism Spectrum Disorder is any of a group of developmental disorders (as Autism and Asperger’s syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests.

At this time, there is no single cause for Autism.

Currently, studies are showing that early intervention is proving to help individuals on the Autism Spectrum have greater successes and outcomes.

Great Prairie AEA’s Media Center has a wide variety of books and video material covering a wide range of aspects of Autism available for checkout.

Great Prairie AEA’s Autism Team provides five courses relating to the needs of individuals on the Autism Spectrum.  Individuals attending the courses will come away with information including, but not limited to structuring environments for success, communicating using visuals, utilizing social stories for behavioral success, and teaching using research based strategies.

The goal of the Great Prairie AEA’s Autism Team is to function as a multi-faceted resource to the LEA and AEA staff who serve students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Autism Team is directed by Crystal Hornback (Ottumwa office) and JoAnn Morton (Keokuk office) but has a growing number of additional members.  Autism team members are situated in each of the Great Prairie AEA satellite offices and bring expertise from a wide variety of disciplines. These team members function as a first line resource to their local team members and schools. In addition to their service at the local level, each team member helps provide area wide autism specific trainings in Ottumwa and Burlington.

Crystal Hornback, Autism Specialist
641-682-8591 ext. 5345

JoAnn Morton, Autism Specialist
319-524-2682 ext. 4102

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