Capital Area Human Services recently opened a new treatment center for children ages 2 to 5 with autism, according to a news release.

Autism impacts a child’s normal development of the brain and affects talking, thinking and interacting with others. More than 40 percent of children with autism have difficulty speaking.

Accelerated Supports for a Child’s Evolving NeuroDevelopment is six hours per day of comprehensive therapy to children who have been professionally diagnosed with autism.

ASCEND was designed by the agency’s Division of Developmental Disabilities to address needs in preschoolers who lack access to services and programming.

“Many children are not identified with a developmental disability until after entering school, yet we know that early intervention (before school age) can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills as well as reduce the need for costly interventions throughout life,” ASCEND program director Dr. Jim Levelle said.

“There are many children in our community in need of these services,” CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky said.

The program is offered from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the CAHS Children’s Center for Behavioral Health, 4615 Government St., Building 1. Transportation is not provided. Cost inquiries may be made through the CAHS billing offices at (225) 922-0838.

For information, call (225) 925-1910.