Monthly Milestones | APRIL 2020
Need customized support or information about resources available during the
COVID-19 shutdown?

Call the Milestones free autism Helpdesk at 216.464.7600 ext. 200 or complete an intake form here .
Managing Behaviors at Home During the Virus Pandemic
If your child typically receives ABA services through their school, a clinic or other provider, it is very likely that you are now working to implement those services at home.

BCBA and licensed intervention specialist Rachel Torrance, MEd, BCBA, COBA, from Assessing Abilities, LLC , is offering her top tips to you and your family as you get into a groove at home together.
Tips to Help You Manage Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 outbreak has left very few aspects of our normal lives untouched. Many of us have lost our routines, haven't seen friends or family in weeks, and aren't getting to enjoy our social hobbies and typical outings.

It is important during this time to find simple coping strategies for when you feel anxious. Milestones Teen/Adult Manager Haley Dunn, MA, LPC, wants you to take a breath and know there are strategies to help you feel better.
Autism Now Affects 1 in 54:
Here's what you need to know
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its newest findings from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, an ongoing surveillance system that provides estimates on the prevalence of autism.

According to its  findings published in the CDC’s  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , 1 in 54 children in the U.S. have an autism diagnosis, a nearly 10% increase from its  2018 report

Specifically, the newest findings show:
  • Autism now affects one in 54 children in the U.S with estimates ranging from one in 76 in Colorado to one in 32 in New Jersey 
  • The rate increased nearly 10% from 2014
  • Of the one in 54 diagnosed with autism, a third are classified as having an intellectual disability
  • While children can be diagnosed with autism at age two, the median age in children at time of diagnosis was over four years old
  • No difference was found in rates between black and white children, but a gap remains in prevalence among Hispanic children
  • The findings echoed numerous studies that indicate autism affects boys four times more often than girls, though this is based on standard diagnostic criteria that has not yet adjusted for the unique traits in females
From Milestones Program Director
Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW:

Milestones is pleased to see the new rates reflecting a smaller gap between black children and white children. As an organization, we have been working to provide more support to diverse populations and this update shows efforts made nationally to address this gap as well.

These findings still show a large gap between Hispanic children and black and white children, indicating that as a community, organizations and providers should work strategically to better reach and support Hispanic families.
Lastly, while the diagnosis gap between boys and girls remains close to the same as in the CDC's last report (four times more likely in boys), they don't know if the assessments are just not picking up on the unique traits of females on the spectrum. It is our hope that we will soon see more cases of accurate and early diagnosis for girls on the spectrum.
April is World Autism Month
Here are some creative ways to celebrate!
  • Watch a movie or TV show starring or written by someone on the spectrum such as Atypical, Autism In Love, or Float
  • Consider how to make your space more autism-friendly. Learn more about making spaces sensory friendly by listening to the needs of self-advocates
  • Share a link to What’s Up with Nick with families in your neighborhood via email and talk about how to be friendly to others with differences
  • Plan a sensory-friendly event for the future: Think about how you could alter events at your school or your child's school to make them more autism-friendly
  • Donate to an organization like Milestones that provides services and support in your backyard! 
  • Embrace others' differences and take time to tell them how much you appreciate them. Remember to be kind and supportive to those who may look or act differently than you
  • Chalk bomb your neighborhood cul-de-sac or your driveway with autism facts
  • Push the conversation beyond awareness. Instead, help those around you focus on how they can appreciate the unique gifts of individuals with autism 
  • Get into new music by finding musicians on the spectrum
  • Purchase products from organizations run by individuals on the spectrum, such as Monarch Lifeworks or the Awesome Company
Milestones is Going Virtual

Milestones is closely monitoring updates on COVID-19 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) and World Health Organization ( WHO ).

In light of the COVID-19 social distancing requirements and the uncertainty of when these will be lifted, Milestones is transitioning the 2020 annual conference to a virtual format. Although this is a new format for us, we are very excited about the new opportunities that going virtual will provide.

We look forward to sharing innovative and creative ways to provide the best virtual experience for attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors.

By Supporting Milestones,
You Support Your Community.

As families and self-advocates struggle to adjust to this new shelter-at-home existence with limited access to their normal supports, Milestones' services are more important than ever.

During these unprecedented times, Milestones has adapted our crucial services so we can continue to serve families looking for a sense of hope and community while stuck in isolation. Our free Helpdesk staffed by our remote professional team remains open and our staff is providing virtual consultations to families, individuals on the spectrum and professionals seeking guidance.

As we navigate this situation together, Milestones is grateful to our donors who make this work possible. Together, we can provide stability and evidence-based guidance during a time when it matters the most.

We appreciate your support so we can continue to serve our incredible clients and community.
Protect your health by shopping online.
Remember Milestones when using Amazon.

Visit   smile.amazon.com  and select Milestones Autism Resources as your charitable organization. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Milestones. It costs you nothing extra to give!