Autism Rates May Be Underreported in the Valley

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 12:21pm

RIO GRANDE VALLEY- A new case of Autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes but in the valley some reports show the numbers are low. A local board member for the Autism Council for Educational Support disagrees.

"We're seeing the numbers grow," said Dagoberto Garza, ACES board member. "Regardless of what your number is right now, the numbers are growing. In ten years, the numbers will be tripled than the numbers right now."

Garza deals with autism first hand. Not only in the office, but also at home. He says the number of autism cases in the valley may be under-reported.

"It may be those that are tagged with autistic disorder but it may exclude those with Aspergers and those with a pervasive developmental disorder which also falls within a spectrum of an ASD."

Garza says its hard to pinpoint numbers because the disorder comes in so many ways and also because people just don't know enough about the different types.

A lot of people feel lost when they notice a difference in their child and rarely know where to locate resources here in the valley. The language barrier may also play a factor. The Autism Council is hoping to change that for families here in the valley.

In an effort to improve communication through out the state the autism council is hoping to create a database. It will be designed to help every family struggling with the affects of the disorder. The council is hoping to construct a new autism center in the valley within the next few years. It'll be a big step for the valley while researchers continue to search for the big cure.

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