AUGUSTA – Rep. Justin Chenette has co-sponsored a joint resolution recognizing April as Autism Awareness Month.
“We could use a bit more compassion and empathy for other human beings in this world,” says Chenette. “Together we can support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families not just with resources, but change our often judgmental actions with one of inclusion and acceptance.”
A nationwide awareness campaign for autism started in the 70’s and officially recognized by Congress in the 80’s.
Below is the resolution that was passed today in the Maine House of Representatives.
JOINT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING APRIL 2016 AS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
WHEREAS, autism is a spectrum disorder, which means no 2 people with autism are affected the same way, and it is a complex developmental disability that usually appears during the first 3 years of life and results in a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain and social interaction and communication skills; and
WHEREAS, in the United States, one in 68 children is diagnosed with this spectrum disorder and prevalence has increased 30% since the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's study in 2008; and
WHEREAS, autism knows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries and neither income nor lifestyle nor education affects its occurrence and it is estimated that more than 3,500,000 people live with autism spectrum disorder in the United States; and
WHEREAS, autism costs the United States over $236,000,000,000 in annual health care costs, most of which are in adult services, and these costs are anticipated to increase; and
WHEREAS, while a single specific cause of autism is not known, current research links it to biological or neurological differences in the brain, and outdated theories and myths, such as autism being a mental illness, have been proven to be false; and
WHEREAS, with support, people with autism can live full lives and make meaningful contributions to society; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED: That We, the Members of the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Legislature now assembled in the Second Regular Session, on behalf of the people we represent, pause in our deliberations to acknowledge that the month of April 2016 is Autism Awareness Month and to pledge our support and encouragement to all those affected by autism; and be it further
RESOLVED: That suitable copies of this resolution, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State, be transmitted to the Autism Society of Maine as a token of our respect and support.