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City, county declare April as Autism Awareness Month

News Courier - 4/6/2021

Apr. 6—Officials with the City of Athens and Limestone County Commission have come together with the Autism Society of Alabama to declare April as Autism Awareness Month.

Mayor Ronnie Marks and Commission Chairman Collin Daly read a joint proclamation on the Limestone County Courthouse steps Thursday. The courthouse was lit up in blue lights in honor of the event.

"Not just for one month, but every day, we should have awareness to many issues we have in the community, and autism is certainly one," Marks said. "We wanted to recognize April as Autism Awareness Month just to heighten awareness and bring attention to a situation that ranges on a scale from mild to severe. Our mission is to keep this in front of the general public and give honor to those families with special needs children."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant communication, social and behavioral challenges.

"There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from most other people," the CDC said. "The learning, thinking and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives — others need less."

One in 68 children are currently being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, according to the proclamation by Marks and Daly.

"It affects each individual in different ways and knows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries," the proclamation reads. "Our understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first diagnosed, but there is no known cure for autism. Accurate, early diagnosis and the resulting appropriate education and intervention are vital to the future growth and development of the individual."

Daly said after Monday's Commission meeting that he wore blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month.

"All the people that have autism, think of them this month," he said.


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