Wexford Institute and the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) are collaborating to provide family education and programs for educators to raise awareness and improve education for children with autism. These online resources focus on a critical need in California: the early identification (diagnosis) of and services for children with autism.
Wexford Institute’s benefit concerts, featuring Anthony Kearns, a founding member of The Irish Tenors, and the Parent Information Resource Center (a federally-funded project serving districts across California) administered by CABE supports this collaboration.
An analysis of two years of data from the California Department of Education about the number of children under the auspices of California public schools with a diagnosis of autism, Wexford Institute found:
- The percent of students, our of the total public school population, who had an autism diagnosis was about 1 out of 131 students in 2007-08 and 1 out of 114 in 2008-09.
- The rates of students with an autism diagnosis varied greatly across racial/ethnic subgroups with 1 in 75 White students having an autism diagnosis in 2008-09 compared to 1 in 179 Hispanic students.
This spotlights two needs: ensuring the early identification of all children with autism so that they receive appropriate educational treatments, and the related need to provide family education and programs for educators. Supporting this conclusion, researchers at UC Davis found California areas with higher autism diagnostic were not related to an environmental factor but were all areas with highly educated parents, primarily Caucasians, with high incomes. The lead author remarked: “In the U.S., the children of older, white and highly educated parents are more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder.”
Wexford Institute’s benefit concert tour features Kearns singing favorite songs of Ireland, Broadway and operas in: San Francisco (September 23) and Long Beach, CA (September 26), Columbus, OH (October 21), and Wilton, CT (October 23).
Learn more by viewing a conversation with Kearns and you can listen to his music on his website. Tickets for the San Francisco and Wilton concerts are available at City Box Office. Tickets for the Long Beach and Columbus concerts are available at Ticketmaster. If you are unable to attend a concert, please consider making a contribution now.
Source: Wexford Institute