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PED offers autism portal resource

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SANTA FE — The New Mexico Public Education Department’s (PED) Special Education Bureau on Wednesday announced the launch of New Mexico’s first-ever Autism Portal.

The portal is an interactive platform with trainings, archived e-courses and a variety of support resources for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is a result of a collaboration between the PED, the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability (UNM CDD), and the Developmental Disabilities Supports Division at the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH).

“The Autism Portal will support not just individuals diagnosed with autism but also families, community members, and educators,” Ryan Stewart, public education secretary, said.

Early feedback for the portal was provided by New Mexico families who wanted a single site where they could find the most relevant autism resources and services.

“As we continue to understand more about the spectrum of autism and witness the talents and accomplishments of the amazing individuals diagnosed with autism, the self-service portal offers critical support — including age-based resources, early intervention and treatment options,” said Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel.

The portal was created under a contract with the DOH with funds from the issuance of “Autism Awareness License Plates” authorized in 2015 by the state Legislature for the purpose of funding autism research, outreach and education.

An Autism Resource Locator is available on the portal to help narrow down resources based on age and other factors, providing users with the most relevant information.

The portal provides training to public school educators and covers topics that affect students in preschool through high school. Additionally, the portal offers blog posts on various ASD topics written by UNM CDD staff, providing a way for the community to comment and discuss important ASD topics. The first blog post is “How is Autism Diagnosed.”

You may access these resources at the following websites:

• Autism Portal (https://cdd.health.unm.edu/autismportal/)

• Autism Portal / Training for Educators (https://cdd.health.unm.edu/autismportal/2019/05/15/training-for-educators/)

If you require assistance with the Autism Portal for yourself or an individual with ASD, please contact the Autism Family and Provider Resource Team at 1-800-270-1861 or 505-272-1852.