Autism Speaks & Ad Council PSAs for Hispanic Parents to ‘Learn the Signs’.

Extending its award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign, Autism Speaks – the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization – today joined the Ad Council, along with partner agencies BBDO New York and LatinWorks, to announce the launch of a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to reach African American and Hispanic parents. According to research, children in these communities are often diagnosed later than the average. The PSAs, which are being distributed to media outlets nationwide this week, show some of the early signs of autism and encourage parents to take immediate action if their child is not meeting standard developmental milestones.

The new “Maybe” PSAs, created pro bono by Autism Speaks’ award-winning lead creative agency BBDO and LatinWorks, depict parents observing the unusual behavior or non-reaction of their child in seemingly ordinary situations. A child’s lack of eye contact, babbling or big smiles invite parental worry and speculation: “maybe it’s this” or “maybe it’s that.” Showing the subtle presence of potential problems in otherwise everyday instances, the PSAs emphasize that these “maybes” are reasons enough for parents to consult their pediatrician or primary care provider for further screening. The PSAs encourage parents to seek further information about the early signs of autism and additional screening resources at The ads have been developed in English and Spanish for television, radio, print, outdoor and digital media.

“We know we can diagnose children sooner, and the earlier the diagnosis occurs, the faster a child can start receiving intervention, resulting in better outcomes,” said Autism Speaks President Liz Feld. “While we have seen a great increase in awareness thanks to our partnership with the Ad Council, many parents still don’t know what red flags to look for in their children’s behavior and development. If a parent has a concern, they should not wait – they should talk to a pediatrician immediately.”

Autism Speaks’ Early Access to Care initiative focuses on reaching out to underserved communities, utilizing new and existing technologies, leveraging local community resources, engaging federal and state partners, using parents and para-professionals as dissemination channels and training providers of screening, diagnosis and intervention techniques. The program includes new website information and resources, screening events with volunteer clinicians, coordinated activities with federal and regional partners, training opportunities for professionals and the distribution of research findings, tools and resources.

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