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Mission - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mission. Research the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders locally

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  • Research the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders locally
    • Provide low-cost or free of charge screening of individuals for ASD to obtain more accurate data with regard to prevalence. The goal is to find out how many children and adults are affected. Based on this data, we can then establish learning facilities for affected individuals. Individuals with ASD learn very differently from neurotypical individuals. The curriculum catering to people with ASD must include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy by professionals such as Neuropsychologists, Clinical Psychologists and Behavioral Analysts, who are specifically trained to work with individuals who have AS, and behaviorally appropriate social skills. A teaching certificate may be beneficial, but the curriculum should be based on behavioral issues, since traditional teaching methods do not work very well, which may explain the increased dropout rates throughout this country.
  • Develop a rehabilitation program for implementation in the existing facilities of the Florida Department of Corrections and also the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
    • Although the overall rate of recidivism is shown somewhere between 35 – 45 %, a closer look reveals that probation violations, which are not included in this number, are significantly higher for substance abuse related crimes. Substance abuse treatment for ASD related substance abuse is significantly different from non-ASD related substance abuse. Individuals with ASD related substance abuse generally use alcohol and drugs to medicate themselves to overcome social anxiety and be able to tolerate living in today’s society. Therefore, treatment for individuals with ASD must necessarily include education regarding what the differences are between ASD and neurotypical individuals.
  • The most common misdiagnosis for Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism is ADHD
  • Psychotropic drugs (stimulants) are not necessarily needed if ADHD is part of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Often, low dose antidepressants may be effective and all that is needed, which would reduce the risk of the escalating abuse of psychotropic drugs
  • Children are generally diagnosed under the age of 7
  • Asperger’s and high-functioning autistic kids are 7 times more likely to get in trouble with the law
  • Many correctional and law enforcement staff estimate the inmate population with known ADHD and other behavioral disorders to be somewhere between 50% and 70%
  • At the cost of housing 125,000 inmates at $24,000.00 each year in the State of Florida alone, the burden to the taxpayer is staggering. Rehabilitating only a small percentage would result in major savings to taxpayers in addition to generating new tax paying revenue because the same individuals are now productive tax paying citizens.
  • Based on these numbers, we are spending roughly 3 billion dollars annually to house inmates. Even if we were to assume the prevalence as indicated by the CDC of 1 in 100, rehabilitating 1 percent would save the state roughly 300,000,000.
  • Also, I have been nominated to replace Hosea Pittman on the CDAC board.
what is the result of ignoring the facts
What is the result of ignoring the facts?
  • Individuals on the Autism Spectrum lack important social functions, such as empathy and are generally somewhat detached from their emotions.
  • Repeated incarceration forces these individuals to further detach from their emotions and there is a risk of such individuals becoming sociopaths rather than productive members of society.
what are the different components of the program
What are the different components of the program?
  • Training law enforcement and correctional staff to recognize individuals who may be autistic
  • Screen non-violent offenders with an approved screening tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Refer candidates for possible autism spectrum disorders to qualified neuropsychologists for a proper diagnosis
  • Refer diagnosed individuals to a rehabilitation program designed to not only address anger and substance abuse issues but especially sensory overload issues, social interaction issues, etc.
  • Partner with existing organizations such as ARC, CARD and so forth to utilize existing federal vocational rehabilitation services that are available along with transitional housing
  • Job placement with either local companies or bringing in companies from overseas who will hire individuals with autism spectrum disorders and so forth while utilizing substantial federal tax incentives that are already in place
what can you do
What can you do?
  • We desperately need your support.
  • We need to find a point within the criminal justice process to screen these individuals.
  • A possible entry point could be during the psi phase

This presentation has been reviewed and approved by:

  • Dr. Brett Turner, Psy.D

Licensed Psychologist, Adjunct Professor in Psychology, UWF, Private Practice in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology

  • Leasha M. Barry, PhD, BCBA-D

Professor, School of Education, UWF

Director of the Office of Applied Behavior Analysis

contact information
Contact Information

Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Research and Rehabilitation Institute, Inc.

Claudia Curry