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Autism Support

The prevalence of autism is an increasing reality in the parishes and schools of the Catholic Church in the United States. Autism, also often called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is "a set of complex neurodevelopment disorders that include autistic disorder, Asperger disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Children who have ASD display mild to severe impairments in social interaction and communication along with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviors, 

interests, and activities." From the 2013 CDC report at the link below. The rates of autism have risen steadily, and as of the latest report are at 1 in 50. Regardless of the reason for the increase, all parishes and schools will have members who live with the range of conditions that are within the autism spectrum.

In order to adequately respond to the needs of these members in the parish or school, an Autism Task Force (ATF) was commissioned by the NCPD Board of Directors to review and evaluate curriculums and program models being used at parishes around the country.

Boy at Window

NCPD Autism Task Force

The Autism Task Force met in their first in a series of monthly meetings in November, 2010. They assessed the state of ministry for and with people with autism and their families in the Church today. They reviewed and evaluated curriculum, resources and programming models that were currently in use. They determined what was needed and made recommendations for action to the NCPD Board.
The Task Force reached out to others to help complete action items in four areas: outreach to stakeholders, website and the development of an App, development of materials and presentations, and research. It was disbanded in the Fall of 2014. Its work continues under the newly formed Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disability. We gratefully acknowledge the work of all our Task Force members. 

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