HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss' Institute for Disability Studies will soon be hosting a screening for children who are ages 5 and under for autism, as a part of a statewide screening day.
Coordinator, Leslie LaVergne said, "We don't need to rely on simply one agency or one entity to take care of everything. I think everybody working together is really the most important thing to get our children screened, diagnosed, and get the resources they need."
1/68 children have autism, and the average age for identification is four. However, LaVergne believes that average is not good enough.
"When you look at the research, it does show that the earlier a child is diagnosed, the more likely they are to receive early intervention. Once a child receives early intervention, we know the outcome is better for that child as opposed to waiting until later," said LaVergne.
LaVergne said she does not think there is a clear answer to why more children are being diagnosed with autism, and hopes more resources will be available to more communities in the country.
Screening for Autism Day will be from 3-6 p.m. on April 25.
Other cities that are hosting this are Cleveland, Tupelo, Jackson, Hernando, Natchez, and Biloxi.