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FRAMINGHAM – City of Framingham Mayor and the City Council have declared April Autism Acceptance Month.

Last night, Advocates CEO Diane Gould and The Autism Alliance of MetroWest Executive Director Allison Daigle and others from the Framingham-based organization attended the City Council month.

The City Council and Mayor issued a proclamation.

It reads:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD have
varying levels of social differences, interests, repetitions, sensory sensitivities, emotional regulation, perception, and
executive functioning. The autism spectrum is not linear.

WHEREAS, approximately 1 in 36 children have been identified with ASD according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Development
Disabilities Monitoring Network; and

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WHEREAS, ASD is significantly more common among boys than girls, but can affect anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or
socioeconomic group. The condition typically starts during childhood and continues into adulthood; and

WHEREAS, the first historical appearance of the word “Autism” was made in 1911 by psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who used the term to
describe a specific cluster of symptoms that were considered simple symptoms of schizophrenia as an extreme social
withdrawal; and

WHEREAS, in 1943, pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Leo Kanner characterized Autism as a social and emotional disorder in his article
“Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact”, and in 1944 Hans Asperger published his “Autism Psychopathology Article”
where he described autism as a disorder of normal intelligence children who had difficulties with social and
communication skills. These articles were an important contribution to the studies that helped to classify autism as a
disorder separate from schizophrenia in 1980; and

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WHEREAS, with the continuous investigation and research on autism, World Autism Awareness Day was set to April 2 of each year by
the “United Nations General Assembly” in “Resolution 62/139” and adopted on December 18 of 2007, to encourage
member states to take-action in raising awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and support the research
finding new ways to improve wellness and inclusion; and

WHEREAS, six families 30 years ago in a church basement started an enduring alliance to support one another, sharing vital resources
including doctors, teachers, and therapies; and,

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WHEREAS, The Autism Alliance of MetroWest, as it is known today, is a program of Advocates providing resources, materials, and
assistance to all including families, businesses, hospitals, and emergency personnel throughout our region;

WHEREAS, Autism Acceptance Month is observed in April to increase awareness, acceptance and to support family members,
educators and other professionals who teach and care for individuals with autism. Now Therefore, the Mayor and Council declare, April 2023 as Autism Acceptance Month in Framingham, and we urge all residents to take cognizance of this and participate fittingly in its observance

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.