April 2013: Autism Awareness Month

WHEREAS, autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called a national public health crisis; and,


WHEREAS, showing a 57 percent increase between 2002 and 2006 in the United States, more than 15,000 Michigan children of all races and ethnicities are affected by autism; and,


WHEREAS, autism typically affects child development before age three and the symptoms that characterize autism include impaired social interactions, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted play and interest behaviors; and,


WHEREAS, though the causes and cure for autism remain unknown, significant progress has been made and is being made in the areas of research, diagnosis, medicine and therapy; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we recognize the impact that autism is having on the children and families of our state and nation, and the importance of autism education, early screening and intervention; on April 2, 2013, the significance of this month will be recognized throughout the Great Lakes State with the "Light it Blue" Mackinac Bridge initiative;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as Autism Awareness Month in Michigan.