DTE Energy Hosts Michigan Shines for Autism Gala April 26

PR Newswire

DETROIT, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tickets are still available for the 3rd Annual Michigan Shines for Autism gala on Saturday, April 26, at DTE Energy's headquarters (DTE).  The fundraising gala is the Autism Alliance of Michigan's celebration for business professionals, autism service providers and individuals committed to improving the lives of individuals with autism in our state.

The black tie optional event wraps up Autism Awareness Month activities to build awareness and understanding of the disorder which impacts more than 60,000 people in Michigan, including 15,000 children.   

The Autism Alliance of Michigan is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) through education, comprehensive services, coordinated advocacy and community integration programming.

"Diagnosis and treatment early in a child's life are two critical components to making long-term strides in education, daily living skills, and eventually, secondary education and employment," said Dr. Colleen Allen, president and CEO, Autism Alliance of Michigan.

The Alliance is developing an "Autism Navigator" program to support families by connecting them with resources throughout the state of Michigan. 

One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30-percent increase from one in 88 two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The CDC estimates one in 42 boys has autism, 4.5 times as many as girls (1 in 189). Clearly this disorder is reaching epidemic levels," said David E. Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, DTE Energy.

"While there is currently no medical detection or cure for autism, the Autism Alliance of Michigan connects families to resources, services and support across Michigan. With the right support, individuals with autism can significantly contribute to our community -  in our schools, worksites and neighborhoods. We need to adopt a perspective of high societal expectations," said Meador, co-founder of the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

The April 26 gala will be at DTE Energy's headquarters, One Energy Plaza, Detroit, at 6 p.m.  For tickets or more information, please contact Rachel Stafeil at (248) 436-5612 or email rachel.stafeil@aaomi.org

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