A global public health strategy for autism spectrum disorders.
In recent years, there has been increasing awareness about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) around the world, including in low and middle income countries. Unlike countries in Western Europe and North America where infrastructure and capacity are available to help meet some of the needs of individuals with ASD, little expertise or capacity exists in most of the developing world. In 2008 Autism Speaks launched the Global Autism Public Health (GAPH) Initiative to facilitate the development of systematic and sustainable solutions for enhancing global autism awareness, research, training and service delivery. In the last 3 years Autism Speaks has established collaboration with stakeholders from over 20 countries who are working alongside dedicated local and international stakeholders to effect change. In this article, the GAPH framework is described, along with a few brief case examples that illustrate how the framework for implementation of the model can occur. GAPH is still in its infancy but has the potential to have significant impact through inclusive collaboration with local and international stakeholders to develop effective and sustainable public health solutions for disseminating best practices and delivering tangible benefits to individuals with ASD and their families.
Wallace, S; Fein, D; Rosanoff, M; Dawson, G; Hossain, S; Brennan, L; Como, A; Shih, A
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