Advances in Autism Research

Advances of Autism Research through the sport of Golf.

Easing the social stigma of Autism.

It's not like you have a disease or anything, said Patrick Rooney who is diagnosed with Autism.

Patrick Rooney wants to remind people he's just like everyone else.

I know that I'm normal, I just do my best, to think okay you have it, but it's not a big deal, Rooney said.

Rooney's father says when it comes to Autism a lot has change over the past two decades.

"Most people now are aware of Autism and the condition." said Rooney's father, Patrick Rooney.

Awareness, something Rooney says is key for his son and others with Autism to live a full life.

"It's been unbelieveable really, the recognition by our society as a whole, at the time they had it at 1 in 600 kids that had Autism, and now it's down to 1 in 66," said Rooney.
"Autism is such a broad spectrum and it's very diffictul to determine what interventions are going to work with what people." said Dr. Marlene Sotelo.

Dr. Marlene Sotelo is with the ELS for Autism Foundation in Jupiter, Florida.

While the center offers education, therapy and specialty services; they also conduct research.

"We're looking at brain function and is there a difference in the brain of someone with Autism and not only that one individual, but are there individuals with similar brain patterns."

And their research has already produced positive results.

"What we've noticed is that individuals engaged with phsyical activity are more responsive to their environment. They are producing more language, and they're reducing the amount of stereotypes or repetitive behaviors that they engage in." said Dr. Sotelo.

The ELS for Autism Foundation also plans to begin researching this year, the importance of having parents involved with early intervention.

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