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Miss. Frederick - Autism Awareness
By: Jeanna Riscigno

UPDATE: 4/19/08 - The Give Them Wings event was a big success! Click Here for photos and video clips!

Hello Everyone! My name is Jeanna Rose Riscigno, Miss. Frederick 2007. I recently turned 20 years old, and represented our county by placing in the Top Ten at the Miss. Maryland Pageant. I have graduated from Frederick Community College with an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and am currently attending Towson University for my B.F.A in Dance Performance.

 As Miss. Frederick I have dedicated my year of service to promoting my platform of: Autism Awareness. I work as a Dance Instructor at 24/7 Dance Studio and a Behavioral Therapist for autistic children at Monocacy Neurodevelopmental Center . My career goal is to own a dance studio, featuring a "dance therapy" program for special needs children and adults.

 As a young girl, my mother worked as an aid at Waverley Elementary School 's special needs PreK class. My experiences volunteering in the classrooms, and working with these extraordinary children, has inspired me to do more for the special needs community. My current project: Frederick County 's 1st Annual Walk for Autism will raise both awareness and funds to help autistic children in the area. The walk will be held at Frederick High School on April 19th, 2008 from 10-1 (registration starting at 9). Please show your support in any way possible!



Autism Awareness

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the world and through early intervention and adequate services, the disorder can be treated. These children have the ability; help us to give them the opportunity, and to better their quality of life.

Facts and Stats:

  • 1 out of every 150 children in the has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder  
  • Autism is equally prevalent among every racial and economic group worldwide  
  • 1 in every 94 boys are Autistic  
  • 67 children per day are diagnosed on the spectrum  
  • There is a new case every 20 minutes
  • More children will be diagnosed with Autism this year, than with AIDS, Diabetes, and Cancer combined 

Frequency vs. Funding:

  • Leukemia (1: 25,000) = $310 million  
  • Muscular Dystrophy (1: 20,000) = $175 million
  • Pediatric AIDS (1: 8,000) = $394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes (1: 500) = $130 million  
  • Autism (1:150) = $15 million   

Top 5 Red Flags:

  1. No smiles by 6 months/ stiffness in body when hugged
  2. No babbling, pointing, or using back- and –forth gestures by 12 months
  3. No use of single words by 16 months
  4. No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  5. Having any loss of speech, social skills, or regression in development at any age

(Note: It is important to contact a doctor if you have experienced any of these red flags. Early intervention is the key to your child’s success!)

Fundraising Purposes for Frederick County 's Autism Walk    (Held on April 19th 2008 @ Frederick High 10-1)

T.A.C.T (Teach Autistic Children Today)

Mission Statement: to ensure all of Maryland ’s children with autism receive the early intervention, educational and therapeutic services that are specific to their individual needs and help support them in seeking a happy and independent future. We will do this by:

  1. Funding training, therapy and other education resources for the young child, with qualification for funding based on the child’s learning needs and parents or caregiver’s financial need
  2. Subsidizing internships with local service providers to hire and rain special education, therapeutic and psychology majors, and encouraging them to work in our Maryland communities as assistant home therapists
  3. Training parents and caregivers in methods to work with their children and augment the work done by the child’s therapists and teachers.

Feel free to contact me at: for more information about the walk, or to donate, sponsor, or volunteer at the event!!!!!

Click Here for many cool local photos on flickr!

Click Here for several local video channels!

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Miss. Frederick - Autism Awareness
By: Jeanna Riscigno
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