Autism Speaks and the National Black Church Initiative launched a campaign to reduce the average age of autism diagnosis and increase access to quality early intervention in African American communities. In its pilot phase, the collaboration will involve 150 Atlanta-area churches in the Autism Speaks Early Access to Care initiative.
A press conference was held Friday at the Wheat Street Baptist to mark the official launch of the program.
Outreach through faith-based organizations is an important part of ensuring that underserved communities understand the importance of early detection, says Amy Daniels, Ph.D., Autism Speaks assistant director of public health research. The congregations’ outreach will increase community awareness of autism’s early signs as well as freely available resources and services.