HOWELL – There was something different at a recent Howell town council meeting. Officials sat in their usual seats, but had white ribbons tied to their microphones in honor of National Autism Awareness Month in April.
Mayor Theresa Berger told citizens and officials at the meeting that autism is a cause very dear to her heart because her nephew is on the autistic spectrum. She then read a proclamation deeming April 2017 as Autism Awareness Month in the Township of Howell.
Autism was once thought to be a relatively rare disorder, affecting only 1 in 10,000 people. But as more and more health professionals become proficient in diagnosing autism, more and more children are being diagnosed, making it the fastest growing developmental disability. Although there is no cure for autism, it has been shown that when individuals receive treatment early on in their lives, it is possible for them to make significant improvements.
Howell High School has one of the largest autism spectrum disorder support programs in New Jersey and will host its first Colors for Autism run/walk fundraiser on April 23.