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April is National Autism Awareness Month

4/2/2012, 1:27 p.m.

The Color of Autism Foundation raises awareness about African Americans Living with Autism

ATLANTA -- The Color of Autism Foundation (CAF) is celebrating National Autism Awareness Month throuhghout April with a series of fundraising events and donation drives.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurological and developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that about 1 in 88 children have been identified with an ASD. With 1 in 54 boys identified, the largest increases were found among African-American and Hispanic children.

CAF is committed to educating and assisting African-American families with autistic children. Although autism affects children of every race, ethnic group and socioeconomic status, African-American children are frequently confronted with late diagnosis or misdiagnosis. To that end, the Foundation's goal is to help families identify the warning signs of autism early on.

"We can start to overturn these disparities by helping African-Americans with autism reach their full potential and empowering families with information on autism that they can use to advocate services for their child," said CAF founder Camille Proctor. "We are committed to raising public awareness about ASD, empowering families and lessening their isolation. We are dedicated to ensuring that all people with autism receive appropriate and effective services to maximize their growth potential."

CAF's main initiatives this year is the completion and distribution of a film with a new perspective on the autism epidemic.

"Screaming in Silence: Autism" is a documentary about the affects of autism on African American families. Autism is a growing epidemic that also has a resonating impact on the school systems, health and human services, judicial system, medical, mental health, therapeutic industry and caregivers in the African-American community.