2005-04-01 / Front Page

Pheffer Notes Autism Awareness Month

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has sponsored a resolution that asks Governor George E. Pataki to proclaim April 2005 as Autism Awareness Month in the State of New York. Autism, the third most common developmental disability in the United States, is an affliction occurring in children before the age of three, recognized by unresponsiveness to human contact, deficits in language development, and peculiar reactions to environmental stimuli.

Autism currently affects over 26,000 people in NY State and one in 500 children will be diagnosed with the disorder. Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, and is four times more prevalent in boys than girls. Autism interferes with the normal development of the brain in the areas of reasoning, social interaction, and communication skills, causing those persons with autism to have difficulty relating to others. Over the past 30 years, significant progress has been made in the areas of research, medicine, diagnostic issues, and therapies for autism. It is in the interest of everyone in New York State to recognize the achievements made and to continue these efforts by promoting the awareness and fostering the understanding of autism.

Further information is available from the New York Families for Autistic Children.

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