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Newsroom Governor Declares April Autism Awareness Month

Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a proclamation today, declaring April 2007 as Autism Awareness Month in Kansas. 

Autism is a developmental disability typically affecting the processing, integrating, and organizing of information that significantly impacts communication, social interaction, functional skills, and educational performance. 

“It is important to educate and inform Kansas citizens about Autism Spectrum Disorders,” said Governor Kathleen Sebelius. “A lack of knowledge prevents many of our citizens from leading productive, satisfying lives within their communities.”  

It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans are affected by autism. The incidence of autism has increased dramatically from 1 in 10,000 ten years ago, to 1 in 166 today. 

Based on statistics by the U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies, autism is growing at a startling rate of 10-17 percent per year. At this rate, the Autism Society of America estimates that the prevalence of autism could reach 4 million Americans in the next decade. 

“It is my hope that a greater awareness of autism will promote early diagnosis and intervention,” said SRS Secretary Don Jordan. “Early diagnosis and intensive early intervention are crucial to improving the lives of children with autism.”