Thursday, April 2, 2020 marks the 13th annual World Autism Day. State Sen. Paul Rosino urges Oklahomans to participate in this global effort to raise awareness and promote inclusion for those with autism.
Autism is also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and according to the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, ASD refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates one in 54 children in the U.S. are on the spectrum.
“This is personal for me and my family. I have a grandson with autism, and I know how this has impacted him, his parents, and all of us,” said Rosino, R-Oklahoma City. “As medical science continues to search for more answers and treatments, we can help by raising awareness. This will help families better recognize the signs and will also help our communities to become more inclusive. Kindness and understanding can make all the difference for these individuals and their families.”
Normally, the annual event would have been marked with Autism Awareness Day at the state Capitol, which is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Rosino said there are other ways Oklahomans could participate.
“Blue is the official color for autism awareness, so Oklahomans can participate by wearing blue, using blue lighting, or making social media posts with #LightItUpBlue,” Rosino said. “I look forward to Autism Awareness Day at the Capitol in 2021, but I hope people from across the state will participate today and throughout the month of April and help us raise awareness about autism.”
To learn more about ASD, you can visit the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center’s Oklahoma Autism Network at https://okautism.org/.
For more information, contact Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov.