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Award-Winning Campaign Asks, “Does Someone You Love Have Autism?”

04/2/14

Randolph, Mass. – Does someone you love have autism? May Institute, a national nonprofit organization, will ask that question to hundreds of thousands of people during April, National Autism Awareness Month. May Institute provides critical services, and access to services, for children and adults with autism and other special needs throughout the country.
 
In Massachusetts, where as many as 16,000 children and adolescents have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), May Institute is launching its powerful public awareness campaign today – World Autism Awareness Day – on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The organization will extend the campaign, now in its sixth year, via its online sites and social media, encouraging others to share their stories and help raise awareness about ASD nationally.
 
This year’s campaign on the MBTA includes more than 1,000 eye-catching posters and car cards featuring the faces of six young people with autism alongside messages from loved ones, and contact information for those seeking help. These posters and cards will be displayed in subway stations and on subway cars, buses, and commuter trains across the MBTA system.
 
Thousands of daily commuters will also be able to see the campaign’s images and messages on the MBTA’s digital screens at high traffic stations. May Institute estimates that nearly 1.3 million commuters will have the opportunity to access the campaign every day during the month of April.
 
“In light of the new statistics released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, placing the prevalence rate of autism at one in 68 children, it is more critical than ever to get credible information about effective, evidence-based treatment options into the hands of families, so they can make well-informed decisions,” says Hanna Rue, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director of the National Autism Center, a program of May Institute. “Our awareness campaign on the MBTA is helping us do just that.”
 
“The campaign enables us to share, in a very personal way, how autism affects the lives of children and families,” adds Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D., ABPP, May Institute President and CEO. “We are so grateful to these families whose courage and generosity allow us glimpses into their children’s lives. We hope this campaign encourages dialogue here and throughout the country, to help us broaden the public’s understanding of autism.”
 
About Autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that occurs in one in every 68 children. It affects the development of the brain, causing difficulty with communication, learning, and social interaction.
 
About May Institute
May Institute is a national nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, cognitive disabilities, and behavioral needs. The Institute also provides training and consultation services to professionals, organizations, and public school systems. At more than 160 service locations across the country, Institute staff work to create new and more effective ways to meet the special needs of individuals and families across the lifespan.
 
The National Autism Center is May Institute’s Center for the Promotion of Evidence-based Practice. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and adolescents with ASD by providing reliable information, promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive resources for families, practitioners, and communities.
 
For more information, call 800.778.7601 or visit www.mayinstitute.org.
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May Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sex/gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, marital status, socioeconomic status, homelessness, or any other category protected under applicable law in treatment or employment at the Institute, admission or access to the Institute, or any other aspect of the educational programs and activities that the Institute operates. The Institute is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Age Act), and their respective implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Parts 100, 104, 106 and 110, not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin (Title VI); disability (Section 504); sex (Title IX); or age (Age Act). Inquiries concerning the application of each of these statutes and their implementing regulations to the Institute may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (617) 289-0111 or 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921, or to Terese Brennan - Compliance Officer, at 1-888-664-9870 or Compliance@mayinstitute.org or May Institute 14 Pacella Park Drive, Randolph, MA 02368.