On April 19, 2011, Council Chair Ingrid M. Turner, Esq. presented a proclamation in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Here are the opening remarks by Stacy Wiseman, Pink DREAMS TEAM Leader, to commemorate Prince George’s County Council’s recognition of Autism Awareness Month.
“RAISE your hand if you know someone affected by Autism or have a family member on the spectrum.
Keep your hand up if you know what Autism is?
What is Autism?
Autism is a term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Some of you may have heard the terms Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders or (ASD).
How common is Autism?
Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. Statistics suggest the rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually. Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis 3 to 4 times more frequently. In the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism.
What causes Autism?
The simple answer is we don’t know…I want to thank the Prince George’s County Council for recognizing Autism Awareness Month today and say that there are many families, friends, neighbors and strangers who are affected by Autism each day. While no child or adult with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is alike, we all have a civic duty as a community to be AWARE of this disorder and take ACTION by visiting www.autismspeaks.org to donate toward current research in finding a cure, participate in a Walk or Run and find out more. Thank you!”