Autism Speaks Unveils 100 Day Kit in Spanish

A Unique Resource for Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism

NEW YORK, NY (September 11, 2008) – Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, today announced the launch of its Manual de los 100 Días, a Spanish language version of the popular 100 Day Kit. The kit is a resource to assist families in getting through the critical time following an autism diagnosis. In addition to receiving the contents of the kit, which includes information about services and service providers in a family's community, those who register will also be connected with a bilingual Autism Speaks Autism Response Team member who can provide further insight and guidance.

The Manual de los 100 Días is available by visiting www.autismspeaks.org/community/family_services/manual_de_los_100_dias.php, where parents of a newly diagnosed child will be asked to fill out a short survey. In response, an Autism Response Team coordinator will contact the family to get additional information so that the Manual de los 100 Días can be tailored to include resources specific to their child's age and location. The family will receive a binder with pertinent information, as well as contact information for a bilingual Autism Response Team coordinator who has been trained specifically to answer questions they may have.

The turn-around time for a new kit will be approximately one week from the date of the initial request. Members of the Autism Response Team will follow up with families four months after they receive the Manual de los 100 Días to see how they are doing, answer any questions they may have, and solicit their feedback. Families may also download the text of the kit without registering – and without personalization – and use Autism Speaks' Family Services Resource Guide to access local resource information.

The Manual de los 100 Días includes basic information about autism and dealing with the news of a diagnosis. The personalized kit lists local service providers, support groups, recreational activities, sources of legal information, conferences, local autism and disability organizations and information about the local chapter of Autism Speaks. It provides insight into getting services for a newly diagnosed child and explains various available treatment options. A week-by-week action plan helps walk a family through the steps it needs to take to ensure that it is on the right track. The kit also includes a glossary of terms associated with autism, as well as a safety plan and a list of recommended books and informational web sites.

“When a child is diagnosed with autism, his or her parents are often left feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next and where to turn for help,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President for Programs and Services. “Those challenges are magnified when there is also a language barrier. This kit will be a valuable tool for Spanish-speaking families and will help make the first few weeks and months after diagnosis a little less daunting.”

“Parents need to know that they are not alone,” said Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks Director of Family Services. “The Manual de los 100 Días and the Autism Response Team will help Spanish-speaking families get informed, get organized and get connected to important resources and support services in their community.”

The 100 Day Kit was created by the Autism Speaks Family Services staff in conjunction with a professional advisory committee comprised of twelve autism professionals, a parent advisory committee that included parents from across the country, and members of the Autism Speaks Family Services Committee.

Autism Speaks thanks the following supporters whose generous contributions have helped to fund the 100 Day Kit and the translation of the Manual de los 100 Días.

The Karma Foundation
JL Foundation

ABOUT AUTISM
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org