May Institute

Press Conference to Announce May Institute’s Autism Public Awareness Campaign on MBTA Transit System

03/23/10

Boston, Mass. — Throughout the month of April, MBTA subway, bus, and commuter rail passengers can learn more about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) thanks to an expanded, powerful public awareness campaign to be announced by May Institute at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, March 31, at 11:00 a.m. South Station in Boston. The campaign is being made possible through the generosity of corporate sponsor LoJack and its LoJack SafetyNet service.

This year’s expanded campaign features new faces, stories, and facts. The most recent autism prevalence statistics announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make this information more critical than ever before.

Autism is a developmental disability that occurs in at least one in every 110 children. It is a neurological disorder that affects the development of the brain, causing difficulty with communication, learning, and social interaction. It is more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined.


What: Press conference hosted by May Institute and MBTA to launch May Institute’s 2010 autism public awareness campaign, What Does Autism Look Like?
When: Wednesday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: South Station (under the clock), Boston, Mass.
Who: Speaking program to include – Heidi Howard, Chief of Business Development at May Institute; Richard A. Davey, General Manager of the MBTA and Rail and Transit Administrator of MassDOT; Barbara L’Italien, Massachusetts State Representative (D-Andover) and Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means; John Paul Marosy, General Manager of the LoJack SafetyNet; and Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D., BCBA, Executive Director, National Autism Center.

Families whose children are highlighted in the campaign will be honored during the press conference for their contributions to the Institute’s awareness efforts. Massachusetts legislators will recognize the families and present them with citations from the state.

About May Institute and the National Autism Center
May Institute is an award-winning nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness, and behavioral health needs.

Since its founding 55 years ago, May Institute has evolved into a national network that serves over 25,000 individuals and their families annually. With corporate headquarters in Randolph, Massachusetts, the Institute operates more than 200 service locations in the Northeast, Southeast, and on the West Coast. Four May Institute schools serve children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Another school serves students with brain injury.

In 2005, in response to the tremendous increase in the prevalence of ASD, May Institute founded the National Autism Center. The Center is dedicated to serving children and adolescents with ASD by promoting best practices and offering comprehensive and reliable information to families, practitioners, and communities. In 2009, the Center’s unprecedented multi-year project — the National Standards Project — established a set of standards for effective, research-validated educational and behavioral interventions for children with ASD.

Together, May Institute and the National Autism Center are committed to identifying and applying universal standards for the treatment of autism and to providing care and hope to families throughout the country.

For more information, call 800.778.7601 or visit www.mayinstitute.org.

About LoJack and LoJack SafetyNet
To address the growing need for solutions that help protect children with autism, Down syndrome and other similar conditions, in a number of communities in Massachusetts LoJack Corporation offers LoJack SafetyNet, a service that enables law enforcement and other public safety agencies to search for and maximize the safe return of a child that wanders —a life-threatening behavior. Clients wear a bracelet that emits a Radio Frequency signal, which unlike GPS-based systems, operates even if the child wanders into a body of water, in dense foliage, in a concrete garage or steel structure. In addition to a secure client database, in-depth training and certification, LoJack SafetyNet provides Search and Rescue Receivers – which can detect the Radio Frequency signal emitting from the bracelet – at no cost to public safety agencies.

LoJack has launched SafetyNetSource (www.safetynetsource.com), an online information and resource center designed to help caregivers protect children who wander. SafetyNetSource offers compelling content from across the web, access to the SafetyNetSource Twitter feed and YouTube channel, a Facebook page to help caregivers communicate with one another and engage in a community of support, plus a variety of valuable resources for parents and caregivers.

To find out if LoJack SafetyNet is available in your community or for more information about the solution, call (877) 4-FINDTHEM (877-434-6384) or visit www.lojacksafetynet.com.