AUTISM Speaks, the autism and science advocacy organization, this week is introducing a new public service advertising campaign aimed at Hispanic and African-American parents.
An ad in the campaign showing parents observing a child with the early warning signs of autism, a developmental disorder.
The campaign, developed with the Advertising Council, which has worked with Autism Speaks since 2005, was created by the New York office of BBDO and LatinWorks of Austin, Tex., both part of the Omnicom Group. The campaign describes early signs of autism in detail and encourages parents to take immediate action if their child does not meet standard developmental milestones.
The new campaign is geared specifically at Hispanic and African-American parents because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current age of diagnosis among these groups, as well as among low-income families, is higher than that of the general public. According to the C.D.C., although the average age now of diagnosis in the United States is 4 to 5 years, a reliable diagnosis can be made as early as 18 to 24 months. And if the disorder is treated from the ages of 3 to 5, from 20 percent to 50 percent of children with autism will be able to attend mainstream kindergarten, according to studies by The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.