Laredo Health Department receives $2.4 million grant for autism research and assistance
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The Laredo Health Department will be getting millions of dollars in funding to help families make better informed decisions on services needed when it comes to autism spectrum disorder.
On Monday, Congressman Henry Cuellar presented a $2.4 million-dollar federal grant which aims to help kids in the autism community.
“With the Center for Disease, we are collecting data for our own population. We’re going to look at the characteristics on what they do, and that data is going to be collected along with the rest of the U.S. and that way we are going to understand them better, we can bring help to them,” said Veronica Orduño.
This grant will help the health department in hiring employees that will work with several organizations to collect data for kids diagnosed with autism, but this grant has a special meaning to Orduño and her son.
“Seven years ago, I started this journey, this autism journey with my son Ramon and of course there was nothing in Laredo, and now it’s just a snowball effect,” said Orduño. “It’s been just taking off and we want that, we want awareness, we want acceptance, we want equity in the community, and everything to improve their quality of life.”
According to the CDC, in 2020, one in 36 children in the U.S. were identified with autism spectrum disorder.
Dr. Richard Chamberlain from the City of Laredo Health Department said the research program will only focus on children but hopes that in the future, it will help adults who fall under the spectrum.
“Adult data as of this moment will continue to collect via our own streams as this is specific to work only allows us to what is mentioned in our scope of work,” said Dr. Chamberlain.
The main goal of the research is simple; bringing more programs and assistance to the health department which will help parents to learn what autism is.
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