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During World Autism Month, advocates seek to highlight resources available to families

During World Autism Month, advocates seek to highlight resources available to families
Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 10:38 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 30, 2022 at 11:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - April is World Autism Month and, advocates say, an opportunity to highlight resources available in the community for those with developmental disabilities and their families.

Lydia Hemmings is an advocate from the Hawaii Disability Rights Center, and said the nonprofit Autism Community in Action offers parent support groups, conferences and events for kids.

“The Hawaii Disability Rights Center works hand-in-hand with the families to ensure that their child is supported, and the DOE, who are wonderful partners with us and making sure that we get those resources to those kids,” she said. “And the sooner you can identify autism and get the aid and resources they need, which is applied behavioral analysis, in schools, in their life, the better outcomes, they’re going to have long term.”

Hemmings said it’s important to remember that autism is a spectrum.

“So it can be somebody with high functionality and triggers all the way down to somebody who has a pervasive developmental disability, or severe autism, about 40% or more are nonverbal,” Hemmings said.

“We’re working with them, whether it be pervasive, or it be Asperger’s, we’re working with them to get them fitted into the community in the best way possible.”

She said many people with autism work, live independently and can qualify for benefits.

For information about disability employment or assistance for people who are beneficiaries of Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance, visit hawaiidisabilityrights.org or call (808) 949-2922.

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