SJR-28

“Designates April 2nd of each year as World Autism Awareness Day”

NJEA proudly supports SJR28 (Greenstein, Ruiz).  This joint resolution would designate April 2nd of each year as “World Autism Day,” in an effort to raise awareness of autism and encourage early diagnosis.

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an invasive developmental disorder that affects social, learning and behavioral skills.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects 1 out of 110 children in the United States.  New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation -- with 1 in 94 children affected.  It is a disease that can strike any child regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status, or geographic location.  Symptoms tend to emerge when a child is 2 or 3 years old.  The symptoms include difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors.  Research shows that early intervention and parental education are the best methods to help a child diagnosed with autism.

NJEA has collaborated with many advocacy groups, as well as the state and federal government, to develop legislation that would best serve the educational interests of special needs populations.  We will continue to support legislation that recognizes and celebrates the unique needs of all students in New Jersey.

NJEA strongly supports SJR28 designating April 2nd as “World Autism Day” and asks that you vote yes.