West Alabama Regional Autism Network hosts first community outreach event

Autism workshop at UofA

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The West Alabama Regional Autism Network hosted its first community outreach event of the year this week. It wanted to give people interested autism the basics and let them know where to go if they have a child who has been diagnosed with it.

″This is our very first one so we thought let’s start with what is autism and what are some of the interventions, ways that you can identify autism and better support kids who have been diagnosed," said Sylvia Hollins, Regional Director for the Regional Autism Network (RAN).

Officials with the RAN, based at the University Alabama, expected a few dozen people to attend their first community workshop of 2019. More than 100 people registered for the Autism 101 event. Many of them seemed eager to learn more about how they could help someone they know with autism.

“I think that parents want to know more. Does my kids have autism? I’m noticing signs,” Hollins said.

The RAN at the University of Alabama is one of five similar networks around Alabama. Hollins cited statistics that show one in 58 kids are on the autism spectrum. As those numbers grow, so does interest in getting kids tested and finding treatment for them.

″So it’s extremely prevalent when you think of a classroom of 20, 30 kids. Somebody in there has autism,” she said.

The West Alabama Regional Autism Network plans to host community outreach events at least once every three or four months.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.