FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2023
Contact: Lee Spell, City Manager
(912) 729-5613 (Work)
KINGSLAND CELEBRATES AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH THIS APRIL
The beauty of humans is that we are each inherently unique. A basic desire of most any individual is to feel completely accepted and valued for our personal differences. This April, we celebrate the unique differences of those around us, as we explore and move towards greater acceptance of Autism, for Autism Acceptance Month. As you see the multi-colored ribbons and puzzle-piece theme on the lamp posts of Historic Downtown Kingsland, take a moment to appreciate the differences that piece together to make up our amazing community.
There are no two individuals who are exactly alike; this is the same in Autism. It is characterized by a broad spectrum of challenges relating to social skills, behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1 in 36 children are affected by Autism. Each of these individuals has their own unique set of strengths, but also challenges; early intervention is highly beneficial in supporting healthy development and improving opportunities across an individual’s entire lifespan. This is important, as it is estimated that nearly a million teens will age out of school based Autism services in the next decade alone, and enter our adult-aged society and workforce.
Mayor Grayson Day encourages that, “As a community, we have an opportunity to embrace, support and celebrate the differences of individuals and their families who are living with the challenges of Autism. As with any initiative, this is not a one-size fits all situation and education is key to strengthening our community! Recognizing and acknowledging, even small differences can benefit us as a whole.”
These differences may seem simple, like acknowledging that “normal” social cues, such as making direct eye contact during a conversation, may not be used. Another individual may be unable to verbally respond when spoken to directly; recognize that these are not signs of disrespect from the individual. Though many with Autism do struggle with non-verbal tendencies, there are also amazingly informative first-hand accounts and resources available that are worth reading and sharing as we strive to support and celebrate the uniqueness of those living with Autism.
Get involved! Special Steps, a nonprofit program that supports our local special needs adults and high schoolers will be hosting a 5k on Apr 15, 2023, at Chris Gilman Stadium. For more information: https://linktr.ee/specialsteps
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