NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board has released their latest progress report highlighting it’s progress on previous recommendations.

These recommendations of the board focused on improving quality of life, community acceptance, and supports and services for New Yorkers with autism spectrum disorders.

In order to enhance communications to raise awareness and combat discriminations of ASDs, New York State has taken action by conducting ongoing awareness campaigns aiming to develop statewide awareness highlighting people with ASD living and working in the community.

Over the past few years the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities implemented the initiatives with several social media campaigns including the ‘One of A Kind’ campaign, which was used to showcase the abilities, talents and contributions of 31 New Yorkers who have autism and other developmental disabilities.

During the pandemic OPWDD used social media outlets to ask others to show their support of the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign for autism awareness, and also posted information about progress being made in testing, the importance of earlier diagnosis, increased awareness and advocacy.

According to the board, in order to help support the families of those with ASD the board has implemented networking opportunities for parents of those diagnosed to interact with other families who are living under similar circumstances.

The organizations often promote lifelong access and opportunities for people on the autism spectrum and their families, so they can be fully participating members of their communities. The state also compiled a list of these kinds of resources and more and organized them by region.

Courtney Burke, Chairperson of the NYS Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board said she was thankful for the effort many contributed for the cause.

“I am grateful to the members of the Autism Spectrum Advisory Board and to the many people who contributed ideas for this report,” Burke said, “We look forward to continuing to find and recommend ways to improve services and policies that better support people on the autism spectrum and their families.” 

The June 2021 report also included updates on by supporting those affected with proper exercise and nutrition information, improving support for telehealth services throughout New York State, studying how assistive technology can be more fully utilized, and engaging in cutting-edge research around ASD. 

The report also adds 3 new recommendations, describes a new law directing the Board to identify strategies and methods of improving outreach and coordination of services for minority groups, and explains recent changes of interest to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board.

The Board’s full report is available on the OPWDD Website.