Today, at the State Capitol's Autism Awareness Day ceremony, the Hospital for Special Care, located in New Britain, debuted a new online resource called the Spectrum of Kindness (www.spectrumofkindness.org).
"It's an opportunity for families to share stories, particularly stories about random acts of kindness," says the hospital's chief operating officer, Lynn Ricci, also the mother of a teenage son with the developmental disorder. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report, showing 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, a dramatic rise from previous years. Ricci believes it's more important than ever to provide parents with encouragement and hope. "It puts a face on a number," she says, referring to the new web site. "We're trying to personalize and humanize this."
The hospital has become the first Patient Centered Medical Home in the state, a hub that connects families with medical, educational and lifestyle resources.
"The theme of Autism Awareness Month here in Connecticut is really moving from awareness to acceptance and empowerment," says Ricci. "It's one thing to acknowledge this disorder exists but then we have to do something about it."
Click here to see a Mommy Minute segment about the Hospital for Special Care's autism center and PCMH.