Autism May Not Affect Every Family, but Every Family can Act for Autism this April

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Corporate Partners Make it Easy to Help Kids with Autism get the Best Start in Life at Easter Seals

Today, as one in 110 children are diagnosed with autism, there’s such a need for increased funding to better serve this growing population of young children with autism

Children aren’t being diagnosed with autism as early in life as possible. The average age for an autism diagnosis is four and a half; it’s possible to diagnose children as early as 24 months. Earlier detection gives children that critical window of opportunity and access to early intervention and treatment.

That’s why a handful of Easter Seals national corporate partners are teaming up with the organization to Act for Autism® this month, hosting several fund and awareness raising activities in stores across the country. By donating to Easter Seals Act for Autism, you can join the fight for families with autism so they can get the care, guidance and support they need—when they need it most.

Make the First Five Years of Life Really Count for Kids with Autism
Every year, millions of young children with unidentified disabilities—including autism—enter school with learning and health issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential. When kids get the right treatment and therapy they need before the age of five, they are ready to learn alongside their peers, build lifelong skills, and achieve their dreams.

“Today, as one in 110 children are diagnosed with autism, there’s such a need for increased funding to better serve this growing population of young children with autism,” says Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, National Director of Autism Services, Easter Seals. “Easter Seals serves more than 16,000 individuals with autism, up from 5,000 three years ago. It’s important to remember getting the right support at the earliest stage in life can help a child gain the skills he or she needs to be successful.”

Easter Seals believes every individual with autism should have access to effective services and support, and guidance at every life stage. That is how its Act for Autism campaign came about – to make sure these critical services become a reality for families living with autism and help turn parents’ dreams for their child’s future from fearful to hopeful.

Shop Where it Counts
“Autism services and programs for the youngest children with disabilities or developmental delays are in high demand,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “The strong relationships we have with our family of corporate partners allow us to expand our reach, giving even more children the help they need to live healthy, independent lives.”

Now, everyday things you may do can help Easter Seals serve even more families living with autism. Support these companies because they are helping Easter Seals make a difference by giving children with autism the bright future every child deserves:

  • This April, shop at your local Safeway, Vons, Pavillions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, or Carrs and make a donation at checkout to support Safeway’s People with Disabilities Campaign to benefit Easter Seals (
  • Check your local PBS station listings or visit for information on “Autism: Coming of Age,” a one-hour documentary sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group and based on key findings from Easter Seals recent Living With Autism Study. The piece tells the story of three adults with autism and their families and features commentary from autism experts, advocates and state government officials who weigh in on the challenges associated with providing quality care to people living with autism. Easter Seals National Director of Autism Services, Patricia Wright, is among featured experts.
  • If you or your kids are due for a hair cut and style this month, make sure to stop by one of Hair Cuttery’s 900 salons during April and donate to its Easter Seals Act for Autism campaign. To learn more about the very stylish promotion or to locate a Hair Cuttery salon near you, visit
  • Put on your creative hat at a local A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store ( and make a donation at checkout to for its Crafting a Better World™ program to support Easter Seals autism services. Participate in an Act for Autism “Make & Take” event to create-your-own jigsaw puzzle at all stores on April 9, from 1-3 p.m.
  • Support CVS Caremark’s All Kids Can™ program to allow Easter Seals to expand therapists’ knowledge and expertise in the delivery of an effective type of treatment for young children with autism early intensive behavioral intervention (
  • Pick up the May issue of Parents Magazine, available on newsstands April 12, for more ways to Act for Autism this month through Easter Seals family of corporate partners and learn about its services for young children with autism, disabilities and developmental delays.
  • Show your support of families living with autism and Act for Autism at Find local services and volunteer opportunities or contribute to Easter Seals autism services to make sure children with autism receive the personalized treatment they need to thrive.

About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Support children and adults with disabilities at or

Kyle, Easter Seals 2011 Child Representative, is a first grader living with autism. Visit our YouTube page to view his story.

Media Contacts:
Rachel Talen, Easter Seals
P: 312.551.7246

Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals
P: 312.551.7147


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Rachel Talen
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Kyle Mayer, Easter Seals 2011 Child Representative