October 27, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

ALBUQUERQUE - Governor Bill Richardson announced a major, multi-million dollar investment in helping children with disabilities on Monday, Oct. 23 at the UNM Health Sciences Center for Development and Disability (CDD), including a $1 million investment in professional and parental training for autism and a $750,000 investment in evaluation and diagnosis at the CDD.

With the rapid increase in children with autism, the CDD has continued to work toward having one of the most effective autism training programs in New Mexico. Governor Richardson’s $1 million investment will help the center continue its work to provide parents and professionals with the tools they need to fully participate in the care of children with autism.

The $750,000 investment in evaluation and diagnosis will allow the CDD to recruit additional staff, and triple the time the clinic is open for business - from one to three days a week. The center currently operates with a three-year waiting list and a 300 child backlog of children up to age 18 that need a battery of sophisticated evaluations to pinpoint their particular disorder. Once fully staffed, the clinic estimates it will have this backlog cleared up in about a year.

The mission of the CDD is the full inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in their community by: engaging individuals in making life choices; partnering with communities to build resources; and improving systems of care.

The CDD accomplishes this mission through innovative:

• Interdisciplinary training

• Dissemination of information

• Provision of exemplary direct service and technical assistance

• Applied research

To learn more about the CDD, visithttp://cdd.unm.edu/