'Growing Acceptance' is this year's theme for autism month

Commissioners join support service organizations in proclaiming April Autism Awareness Month in Pike County


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  • Pike Autism Support Services Director Jean Marie Passaro shows the center's themed T-shirt for 2017, "Growing Awareness" (Photo by Anya Tikka)



By Anya Tikka

— Hundreds of people in Pike County have autism, which includes a broad spectrum of disorders sometimes not evident until later in life, said Pike Autism Support Services Director Jean Marie Passaro.

The Pike County Commissioners proclaimed April Autism Awareness Month at a meeting attended by Passaro, who gave the commissioners T-shirts with this year’s theme: “Growing Acceptance.”

Some at the lower level of the spectrum need help and support from very early on, she said, but at the higher end, many won’t need help until years later.

“Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism and will continue to need support and programs throughout their lives,” she saidd.

Pike Autism Support Services has been in the county for more than 20 years. Their services include parent training and support, social and recreational opportunities for those affected children, and scholarships. For more information, visit pikeautism.org.

The Commissioners’ proclamation states that autism affects one in 68 children, making it the third most common developmental disability in the country, knowing no social, racial, or ethnic boundaries.

In Pike County, other support services for people with autism include the Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Delaware Valley School District, Pike County Developmental Center, Community Vocational Services, and Human Resources also are involved in autism support. All joined in the proclamation.

Commissioners’ Chair Matt Osterberg also praised businesses who hire people with autism, especially Belle Reve, Good Shepard Church, Key Food, and Walmart.

Autism Family Fun Day will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the park on Ann Street in Milford. The day is being sponsored by North PPODS (North Pocono Parents of Down Syndrome) and Friends, a nonprofit organization that provides information and support to families, and promotes awareness, acceptance and advocacy for children with autism.

Related story:"Autism Family Fun Day coming to the park": http://bit.ly/2oYEws9

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article ran originally with the wrong photo from the commissioners meeting. It now shows the correct photo showing Pike Autism Support Services Director Jean Marie Passaro.

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