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Letter: People need to be aware of autism

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

During National Autism Awareness Month, which is April, many parents of children on the spectrum are hearing about new statistics of 1 in 50 children that are now being diagnosed with autism. People need to be aware of the ever increasing amount of children and adults with autism who need understanding and help to have a happy and productive life, when such things as medical insurance, an education, job training and housing for people with developmental disabilities – to name a few things – are nowhere near meeting the demand and needs of an exploding population of people with autism.

With that in mind, Autism Speaks is looking for advocates in congressional districts in the state to – at first – call on congressmen and women to advocate for federal legislation that is important to families with children and adults on the autism spectrum, and then eventually call on state legislators to promote and advocate state-based initiatives in the future. District advocates also would be in charge of grass-roots development that would seek to improve autism awareness and support to help stregthen education and services for people with autism through their efforts in getting involved in the community.

We are presently looking for district advocates to be part of our “Autism Congress” in the 1st, 2nd, 8th, 14th and downstate legislative districts. If you are interested, have experience with working in your community, have talked with your legislative representatives in the past – or want to in the future – and have a connection with autism, please email me at mbaker721@comcast.net to show your interest and to talk further.

Mike Baker

Autism Speaks

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