HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

113

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

declaring the month of April of each year as autism awareness month in hawaii.

 

 


WHEREAS, this body finds that autism is part of a complex group of neurodevelopmental disorders, collectively called autism spectrum disorders; and

 

WHEREAS, autism involves delays in and problems with social interactions, language, and a range of emotional, cognitive, motor, and sensory abilities that vary according to where the individual falls on the spectrum ranging from mild impairments to severe disabilities; and

 

WHEREAS, the diagnosis of autism in an individual transcends all social, religious, socio-economic, and geographic boundaries; and

 

WHEREAS, based on statistics reported by the United States Department of Education and other governmental agencies, autism is growing at a startling rate of ten to seventeen percent per year; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that autism affects as many as one in every one hundred and ten children, and studies show that over the last twelve years, the prevalence of autism has dramatically increased by 289.5 percent; and

 

WHEREAS, at the rate autism is growing, the Autism Society of America estimates that the prevalence of autism could reach four million Americans in the next decade; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Department of Education's Special Education Section offers educational services to students with autism and works with families and students to develop an individualized education plan; and

 

WHEREAS, in 1994, the Department of Education had seventy-one children, ages six to twenty-one years, with autism who were eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and that number increased to 1,064 by 2010; and

 

WHEREAS, in 2010, the Department of Education served an additional two hundred thirty-four eligible, school-aged children with autism, ages three to five, through the Department's preschool special education programs; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Health provided intensive behavioral support services to one hundred sixty-five children with autism spectrum disorders, ages zero to three years, through its Early Intervention Services Section; and

 

WHEREAS, while there is no cure for autism, early identification of developmental concerns allows parents to seek intervention during the crucial period of early development; and

 

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Pediatrics Hawaii Chapter released a position paper stating that there should be specific screening for autism spectrum disorders at eighteen, twenty-four, and thirty-six months of age and recommends that the screening be done through the use of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers; and

 

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities launched a public awareness campaign called "Learn the Signs. Act Early.", which aims to educate parents about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disabilities, and encourages developmental screening and intervention; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Maternal Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program and autism groups in Hawaii are supporting and undertaking the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." campaign; and

 

WHEREAS, providing widespread information is necessary to educate parents, professionals, and the general public about autism, its effects, and the critical importance of early developmental screening and intervention; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that this body proclaim the month of April of each year as "Autism Awareness Month" in Hawaii; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the month of April of every year serve as a special opportunity to educate the people of Hawaii about autism, to increase awareness of the importance of screening through the "Learn the Signs. Act Early" campaign, and to encourage families with children, ages eighteen to twenty-four months, throughout the State of Hawaii to have screenings at well child visits with their pediatric health care provider; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Director of Health, the Superintendent of Education, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Autism Society, Autism Speaks, Talk About Curing Autism, Hawaii Parent Training and Information Center, Autism/PDD Family Support Group, Autism Support for Kauai, Kauai Autism/PDD Family Support Group, Hawaii Families As Allies, Autism Awareness Puna A Family Support Group, Military Parents Autism Support Group for all branches of service, the Exceptional Family Member Program, Community Children's Councils, and the Hawaii Maternal Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Autism Awareness Month; April; Outreach and Awareness on Autism