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More Autism Services Coming to the Quad Cities

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The latest numbers fromthe CDC show one in 68 8-year-olds has Autism.

According to the CDC, theprevalence of the disorder has been growing over the years. Data collected in2000 shows one in every 150 8-year-olds was diagnosed with Autism. Now, thedata released at the end of March shows one in 68.

As the number of children with Autismincreases, an organization called The Homestead is coming to the Quad Citiesin hopes of helping this growing number of kids.

The CEO of The Homestead, Steve Muller, saysthe organization uses intensive applied behavior analysis to help with thedevelopmental progress of kids who have Autism.

The Homestead has locations across Iowa and plansto start serving kids at a new location on Utica Ridge Road in Davenport assoon as July.

Muller said this location will likely servebetween 30 and 50 kids within a 35-45 mile radius. Most of the kids will likelybe 9 years old or younger, said Muller.

"Autism is one of those rare things where if you catch itearly enough, you can do something very significant with that child's developmentalprogress," said Muller.

Muller says there's already a waiting list for theprogram.

Stephanie Woods ofBettendorf is one of the parents on the waiting list for her two children whohave Autism.

Woods said her children,ages 5 and 3, already get specialized services to combat their disorders. Shesaid the services have brought her children leaps and bounds from where theyonce were and believes additional services from The Homestead would make a bigdifference in her family's life.

"I think it would make a difference intheir lives and they'd be able to be successful in school and life," saidWoods.

The CEO of The Homestead saysanyone interested in the program should contact the organization for moreinformation.

The Quad Cities Autism Centeris another organization in the area that's dedicated to serving people with thedisorder. The director there, Michelle Smyth, says she opened the center eightyears ago after she had a son with autism and couldn't find any services in thearea.

April is also NationalAutism Awareness Month. The national organization called the Autism Society hasbeen celebrating the month for about 40 years.

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