Join the Celebration!

Join the Celebration!April is Autism Awareness Month. West Park joins in the effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assures that each resident with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report that concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States. The spotlight shining on autism has opened opportunities for all to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.

Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

HERE ARE SOME SIGNS TO LOOK FOR IN THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE:
• Lack of or delay in spoken language
• Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
• Little or no eye contact
• Lack of interest in peer relationships
• Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
• Persistent fixation on parts of objects

This April I am again encouraging all West Park residents to accept and appreciate. The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community. West Park show your support for residents with autism and their families by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon this entire month. We want to ensure acceptance and inclusion in our city that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts. Let’s do this West Park!

Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954)329-8990 or by email at: fbrunson@cityofwestpark.org.


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