The Saline Courier

Farmer issues Autism proclamati­on

- By Dana Guthrie dguthrie@bentoncour­ier.com

Benton Mayor Tom Farmer has issued a proclamati­on establishi­ng that the month of April will be Autism Awareness Month and recognized April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.

According to Benton Director of Marketing and Special Events Lea Canady, local businesses will come together to offer autism-oriented fundraiser­s, autism-friendly happenings and special opportunit­ies to recognize people on the autism spectrum.

“Autism is a subject of importance to the mayor who believes in promoting an increased understand­ing and acceptance of people with autistic spectrum disorders, including Asperger syndrome, throughout the city of Benton,” Canady said.

Autism is the fastest growing developmen­tal disability in the United States, affecting more than three million people. Raising awareness helps people understand and not be frightened by the disability. Autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 54 children. Boys are nearly 4 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed.

“Most of us have met an individual with an autistic spectrum disorder whether we know it or not,” Canady said. “It is very important that everyone educates themselves on how we need to treat others and how to accept the disability without bullying or causing issues for the individual. Due to a brother living with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have witnessed firsthand how individual­s with autism can be affected by a lack of knowledge and understand­ing from those around them. We can each do our part by educating ourselves on the disorder and treating others with kindness.”

 ?? Special to The Saline Courier ?? Benton Mayor Tom Farmer, center right, shares his proclamati­on of April as Autism Awareness Month and April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.
Special to The Saline Courier Benton Mayor Tom Farmer, center right, shares his proclamati­on of April as Autism Awareness Month and April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day.

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