SPOKANE, Wash. – Autism is becoming a more common diagnosis, with a prevalence rate rising worldwide. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show it is now occurring in one of 42 boys and one in 68 individuals.
Marc Bryant and his wife’s oldest son, Ace, 2, tested on the spectrum. When the Bryants started looking for resources, they were thrilled to come across Spokane’s Northwest Autism Center. The center has been providing services with those affected by autism for over a decade, but in January, it opened its new treatment clinic.
The clinic is one of only two clinics of its kind in Washington state. The other one is in Yakima. It hosts an intensive treatment program for children two to five years old.
Ace Bryant is about halfway through his 12-week class and his parents said his progress has been incredible.
“Before he wasn’t making as much eye contact or using words,” Marc Bryant said. “Now he’s starting to say simple phrases and making eye contact and pointing to things he wants, versus just sitting there and trying to guess what he wants.”
Bryant said when he first came to the clinic, Ace had a fleeting attention span and wouldn’t sit down.
“Now he’s sitting down, singing songs, reading books,” Bryant said. “So we can see the improvement and progress.”
The Northwest Autism Center invited the public to attend an open house Thursday at its new treatment clinic located on the lower level of the St. Anne’s Family Center at 25 W. 5th Ave. The event includes a tour and presentation and runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Staff ask that attendees RSVP by contacting Jill at (509) 328-1518.