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Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Dylan’s Run Will Raise Autism Awareness

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The eighth annual Dylan’s Run, which takes place Sunday, Sept. 7, will help raise funds for families who are affected by autism and researchers who are delving into it. The 2-mile walk/run to Indian Summer Festival, organized by the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (ASSEW), will support workshops for local families with an autistic member. But the funds will also be used to help educate health care professionals about how to identify signs of autism.

Emily Levine, executive director of ASSEW, said that a large part of the run’s profits go to research, including the research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Waisman Center.

“Over the past eight years we’ve donated over $170,000 for research,” Levine said.

Levine noted that the funds also support speakers during the Medical College of Wisconsin’s grand rounds, because many health care professionals aren’t able to keep current with new information about autism and autism spectrum disorders.

The next ASSEW speaker at the medical college will be Deborah Fein of the University of Connecticut, who in November will instruct pediatricians on how to use a screening tool she helped to develop. "It’s a simple check-off list that parents can fill out that lets pediatricians know if this child should be referred to get a full developmental work-up,” Levine said. “It’s very innovative.”

For more information about Dylan’s Run, go to www.dylansrun.com.

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