By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon will honor those affected by autism in April as part of an international annual observance.
A complex developmental disorder, autism affects an estimated one in 54 children and one in 45 adults. It is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.
Mayor Shelli Selby read aloud a proclamation making the autism declaration during the March 16th council meeting.
“Autism has a place close to my heart,” said Selby, who has a family member with autism.
Autism can cause challenges with verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors, and can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background.
“Autism is often accompanied by medical conditions that impact quality of life,” Selby said.
The City of Yukon is participating in the observance to address the diverse needs of everyone impacted by autism.
14TH ANNUAL OBSERVANCE
This will be the 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day, recognized internationally on April 2 every year.
Member states of the United Nations are encouraged to take measures to raise awareness about people throughout the world with autistic spectrum disorders, including autism and Asperger syndrome.
The Yukon City Council proclamation describes a “comprehensive, collaborative approach” that helps advance research and provides a better understanding of the many forms of autism – while strengthening advocacy efforts and ensuring access to services and resources.
“Early diagnosis and intervention tailored to individual needs can have lifelong benefits, easing the transition to adulthood and fostering greater independence,” said Mayor Selby, reading from the document.
World Autism Day brings individual autism organizations together across the globe to aid in research, diagnoses, treatment, and acceptance of those with a development path affected by autism.