Legislation that Assemblywoman Donna Simon sponsors designating April 2nd of each year as “World Autism Awareness Day” received approval today from the Assembly Women and Children Committee.
“We need to increase the dialogue on how to better understand and positively affect this worldwide crisis which has been increasing at an alarming rate,” said Simon, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, of the joint resolution, AJR-33/SJR-69.
“We are all touched by autism, whether it affects our family, neighbors or friends,” continued Simon, an Honorary Board Member of the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and strong advocate for autism. “By joining this global effort, we will be better able to stress the importance of early diagnosis, intervention and research and help give people a better understanding of the challenges that are faced.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 68 children nationwide and 1 in 45 children in New Jersey. It’s the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S. While more prevalent in boys, ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Early detection and early intervention are vital to getting children and their families the help and support they need.