The purpose of AutismConnect is to provide stakeholders in the state of Maryland with an online resource that will assist them in locating and securing resources for individuals with Autism. The website focuses specifically on research, educational resources, and advocacy organizations available to families in Maryland.
Fast Facts about Autism in Maryland:
In 2006, Maryland Public Schools provided services to approximately 5,764 students, ages 3-21, with Autism.
Since 1993, the first year that Autism was available as a specific disability category, there were 260 students in Maryland identified as Autistic.
At this time, Autism is the most prevalent of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 150 births, and this number is rising at an alarming rate (Centers for Disease Control, 2007).
While the need for early screening identification and services has grown significantly, the need for professional development and training for individuals working with students with Autism has also grown. Administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, school psychologists, guidance counselors, and higher education personnel need additional and ongoing professional development to assist in developing programs, supports, and services for children with Autism.
To address these emerging areas of need, the Maryland State Department of Education is collaborating with local programs and interagency partners in a number of initiatives to increase the information about and support for children with Autism. These programs, partnerships, and initiatives are highlighted on this site.