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Aspergers, autism expert to speak at Polk County Public Library

The Polk County Public Library will host Kathy Dolbee at the library systems Columbus location on Tuesday, November 10 at 6 p.m.
This fascinating and inspirational program is targeted for parents, grandparents, educators, and anyone interested in learning more about Aspergers and Autism.
Dolbee works as a Parent Advocate for the Autism Society of North Carolina and is a frequent speaker at schools and support groups throughout Western NC.
A parent of a child on the Autism spectrum and a former consultant and program director for children with autism in a public school and a parent of a child on the Autism spectrum, Dolbee provides support and training for classrooms and home.
Tracey Daniels, PCPLs Community Relations Specialist, explains the high-interest and need for this type of program, Last April, the library hosted a program for Autism Awareness Month. The turn-out was more then double what we had anticipated more then 75 people from our community turned out to hear our featured speaker. Grandparents, parents and educators came with many questions that could not necessarily be answered by the speaker, who had Aspergers himself but could not speak to the urgent need for tips and advice. In response to this overwhelming interest, we have arranged for Ms. Dolbee to do a lively presentation based on ‘Aspergers/Autism 101’ with a Q&A to follow.
Daniels continues, Its wonderful to be able to bring such an expert to our community and we hope to have an even bigger turn-out this time around. This is an issue that affects so many members of our community.
The program is free and refreshments will be served.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of developmental disabilitiesincluding classic Autism, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger Syndromethat affect a persons ability to understand what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. It is a brain disorder that impacts communication, social interaction, and behavior. Individuals with ASD typically have difficulty understanding verbal and nonverbal communication and learning appropriate ways of relating to other people, objects, and events. No two people with ASD are the same.
How Common is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder is the second most common developmental disability following mental retardation. ASD is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined. It is estimated that up to one out of every 150 children born today has some form of ASD. This means that approximately 1.5 million Americans (children and adults) have ASD today, and that more than 15 million Americans (loved ones, caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals) are directly impacted by the disorder. In the state of North Carolina alone there are over 50,000 individuals living with ASD.