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As autism rate soars, early intervention urged

UMMS child psychiatrist says increase seen locally

By Bryan Goodchild and Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

April 05, 2013

With a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing one in 50 school-aged children has autism, UMass Medical School expert Jean Frazier, MD, urges parents to act early in seeking help if they suspect their children are having growth and development issues.

“Within the UMass health care system, we are seeing an uptick in the number of youth affected with an autism spectrum disorder,” said Dr. Frazier, the Robert M. and Shirley S. Siff Chair in Autism , professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, vice chair for child and adolescent psychiatry, and director of the Child and Adolescent NeuroDevelopment Initiative at UMMS . “It’s really critically important for families to seek services because we know that early intervention works.”

In this Expert’s Corner video, Frazier talks about the CDC findings and identifying and treating autism spectrum disorders—and unveils a new resource coming soon for families in Central and Western Massachusetts affected by autism.