ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), has launched the “Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism” campaign this month from February 1 through 14, 2012, to benefit the ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF) national campaign. Anyone wishing to “have a heart” can make a monetary online donation at http://www.act-today.org/haveaheart, as well as tweet “Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism – Donate @ http://www.act-today.org/haveaheart” on their Twitter or Facebook pages.
“Military families shoulder tremendous responsibilities today. These challenges are compounded for military families with a special needs child,” says ACT Today! for Military Families Campaign Director Andrekka Lanier. “This campaign will not only draw more awareness to their plight of military children with autism, but also help raise necessary funds these children need in an effortless way and during a time when everyone especially feels loving!”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined. It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 88 military children. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.
The goal of the ATMF fund is to improve awareness of the unique needs of the military family living with autism and access to urgently needed treatments and support services. In its first year of operation, ATMF has provided assistance to over 120 military connected families through its family grant program.
Grants funded included assistance with applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, medical services, iPads and communication devices, safety equipment, service dogs, legal services, therapy equipment, assessments, and other quality of life supports.
“Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism” campaign ends on February 14, 2012 at 12:00 am (PST).
About ACT Today!: ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.