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El Paso ISD offers community support for children diagnosed with autism

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – April 17, 2024) — April is Autism Acceptance Month and the El Paso ISD Special Education Health Services Center is helping the community connect with local agencies who support people who live with the condition. 

The department hosted an event Wednesday, April 17, at its location along Thomason Avenue in Northeast El Paso. Several vendors were present to share information and brochures with families to empower them to help their children who are autistic. 

Autism is a condition that can affect social and communication skills. For others, it can cause intellectual disabilities, but not every person who is diagnosed with autism is the same.  

“We really want to go beyond just the autism awareness. We want to look at autism acceptance and that’s why this event is so important for us,” said Angelica Rodriguez, director of Special Education Evaluation Services. “Once our students leave the public school system, then they have to reach out to community agencies for additional support, jobs, and even for medical needs, so we have all these organizations here at the event sharing information with parents and staff to assist them.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 36 children have been identified with autism in the United States.  

“Autism is an invisible disability, so some kids look normal, but they’re suffering from the disorder. This is why we need to understand how they function and be aware of this as well as accept them,” said Gilda Pote, the Special Education Instructional Programs Facilitator. 

About 800 students within El Paso ISD have been diagnosed with autism, according to the Special Education Health Services Center. While each individual diagnosed with autism can display different symptoms, some of the most common conditions that appear include anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures and depression. 

For more information on autism click here. 


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