County supervisors to request tobacco tax dollars for autism programs
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Citing a nearly hundred-fold increase in autism disorders since 1993, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to pursue funding for programs to help children with autism in low-income families.
The number of children in the U.S. with disorders along the autism spectrum has gone from 1 in 10,000 in 1993 to 1 in 110 in 2010, said Supervisor Don Knabe, referencing studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Supervisors Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended that the board seek funding on an annual basis from First 5 Los Angeles.
First 5 Los Angeles was established by Proposition 10, passed in 1998, and is charged with distributing funds raised through tobacco taxes to help children age five and younger through education, healthcare, child care and other programs.
"Autism is a lifelong neurological disorder that has become more prevalent in the past years,'' Knabe said. "While the First 5 Los Angeles Commission has funded efforts in the past to provide support for familiesimpacted by autism, we believe that more can be done to help these young
children and their families.
"Detecting autism at a young age can have a profound impact on cognitive and social development, giving children and their families more options and hope.''
Diagnosis and treatment of autism has been shown to be most effective when addressed during toddler and preschool years and the transition to kindergarten.
However, Knabe said that many families, particularly those in low-income communities, encounter barriers in accessing programs, such as speech and physical therapy and social skills training, to help their children.
Children of the Caribbean Inc. is a nonprofit organization that offers relief and assistance to deserving children across the Caribbean. Founded on June 1, 2010, by Julien Adams and his wife Rosie Hodge-Adams, the foundation delivers assistance in the areas of education, healthcare and social development.
The foundation’s efforts are geared toward resolving the ongoing struggles that some children face every day—poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease—and to replace these struggles with hope for the future.
Despite the usual glum surrounding the issue of education, there are educators who are adamant about making productive changes in schools such as at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School. The Summer Cool Program is just the beginning of something revolutionary at the school with the potential to change the community as well.
AbilityFirst’s Harry A. Mier Center in Inglewood offers programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and epilepsy. The center serves the Los Angeles region, including the communities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, South Los Angeles, South Bay, Westchester, Torrance and Lennox.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—More than 51,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, a 3 percent drop from 2009, according to a report released today.
The report, by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which counts the homeless once every two years, found that social service agencies and homeless prevention programs have helped keep the numbers level despite the economic downturn.