Our son, George, received a diagnosis of moderate autism eight months ago, when he turned two. Since his condition has markedly improved with 1) Early diagnosis and 2) Early intensive intervention in Vietnam. Based on the many challenges we encountered and our NGO's mission, we will implement methods to reach and help children worldwide, with our initial focus on Vietnam.
Autism has been markedly increasing, now with 1/59 children with a formal diagnosis in the USA (1). Many children are diagnosed too late for the most effective early interventions. Eighty percent of adults with autism in the USA are reported to be unemployed (2). The vast majority of children worldwide with autism are not receiving the interventions that would improve their and their family's lives. We are finding families lack awareness and understanding. Many are in denial.
We will use targeted social media methods to reach families who have children with the early symptoms of autism. We will provide a landing page with simple and clear messaging with key links to more detailed information, screening tools (e.g. 3) and trustworthy web links (e.g. 4). We will identify and translate free on-line family and treatment provider education/training. We will prepare to continue to build the evidence base for the effectiveness of interventions in the developing world.
We will initially focus on Vietnam for children to undergo early childhood intervention, when it is most effective. We have already positively impacted our two children. The same methods will have worldwide impact. Our targeted approach to reach and help those in need should positively impact far more than 1000 children in the short term and large numbers worldwide in the long-term.