Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock signed a proclamation last week, designating April as Autism Awareness Month.
The proclamation was in support of the already existent group, “Bell County Autism Awareness.”
Members of the Bell County Autism Awareness Group were in attendance and also participated in the official proclamation gathering.
James Blevins, teacher at Page School and awareness member, gave a short speech.
He confessed speaking on the subject was an emotional task. Blevins told of his oldest daughter who suffered from echolalia, a speech handicap that is sometimes a symptom experienced by those within the autism spectrum.
Blevins said Sarah Veillion, occupational therapist, Trinna Lawkins, speech pathologists of the Bell County School District, and T&T stables, riding therapy, dedication helped his daughter.
Blevins said that as a result of the services his daughter received, he is now able to sit down and have a conversation with her.
As part of the proclamation, Brock stated that some of the emphasis will be to inform the general public about the global health crisis of autism, stress the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention and to celebrate the unique talents and qualities of individuals with autism.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders — autism spectrum disorders — caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
It is now estimated that one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. Those numbers represent a 600 percent increase in the past two decades, only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
On Dec. 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139 World Autism Awareness Day by unanimous consent, encouraging UN Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to promote early diagnosis and early behavioral intervention. Therefore, many professional agencies and parents of children with Autism have adopted April as Autism Awareness Month.
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