Summit Educational Resources Help Children With Autism

April 1, 2012 Updated Apr 1, 2012 at 1:20 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 1, 2012 Updated Apr 1, 2012 at 1:20 AM EDT

GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Center for Disease Control released new numbers that show more children are being diagnosed with Autism. Although experts said those numbers may be cause for concern, they also say there is hope for the future.

"It's one in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism and that is a very significant number," Chief Executive Officer of Summit Educational Resources Dr. Stephen Anderson said.

Those numbers of school aged kids with Autism are up 78 percent from a decade ago.

"This is a public health crisis and we have to have public health policies to help us. There are stressors this will place on families and on school systems in general," Anderson said.

Chief Executive Officer at Summit Educational Resources Dr. Stephen Anderson said more emphasis must be put on research for a cause and cure of autism.

"We're also talking about research into better instructional practice," Anderson said.

It's that instructional practice that doctors and teachers focused on in one study of a local boy named Tyler.

"Before this Tyler just wanted to sit in his room and not interact with anybody," Mom Michelle Lasker said.

Doctors with Summit teamed up with the University at Rochester for a study to help Tyler improve his social habits by breaking the typical symptom of autism.

"You can imagine a child who only wants to color in a certain way, blue, yellow, red, is going to have trouble playing with his friends. Also, a child who wants to only put things in a row, so they're going to have a had time playing with friends. So, what we did is developed an intervention," Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Dr. Debbie Napolitano said.

Channel 7 saw first hand what this so called "intervention" has done for Tyler.

"He learned to be more social with teacher and peers and engage in more flexible types of play," Dr. Vicki Knapp with Summit Educational Resources said.

Lasker said things have also improved at home. Tyler is playing with family members, watching movies and even doing chores. She said it has strengthened the family's bond and gave her hope for the future.

"As a mom, even five years ago I was like how am I going to get through this. Now, with Summit and the studies we participated in, I never thought we would be where we are today," Lasker said.