Assembly Resolution No. 274

BY: M. of A. Santabarbara

        MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
        April  2019,  as Autism Awareness Month in the State
        of New York

  WHEREAS, It is the custom of  this  Legislative  Body  to  recognize
official  months  that  are  set  aside to increase awareness of serious
issues that affect the lives of citizens of New York State; and

  WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and fully  in  accord  with  its
long-standing  traditions,  this  Legislative  Body  is  justly proud to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim April 2019,  as  Autism
Awareness  Month  in the State of New York, in conjunction with National
Autism Awareness Month, and World Autism Awareness Day,  Tuesday,  April
2, 2019; and

  WHEREAS,  Each  April  for  the  past  five decades, National Autism
Awareness Month has elevated awareness and  educated  the  public  about
autism and issues within the autism community; and

  WHEREAS,  One  in  68  children  in the United States is affected by
autism, Asperger's or Pervasive  Developmental  Disorder  Not  Otherwise
Specified  (PDD-NOS),  estimated  by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC); and

  WHEREAS, In addition to these already staggering statistics, the CDC
reports that one in every 98 African-American children is diagnosed with
autism with a 1.6 year delay in diagnosis  when  compared  to  Caucasian
children; and

  WHEREAS, Parents tend to overlook the early signs of autism spectrum
disorders,  assuming their child is just going through a phase or having
an off day; and

  WHEREAS,  It  is  important  for  parents  to  differentiate   these
assumptions  from  the  symptoms,  which  can  present in many different
forms; and

  WHEREAS, Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there can  be  great
variation  in  the  way  it  affects  people;  each  child on the autism
spectrum possesses unique abilities, symptoms and challenges,  according
to autism expert Dr. Willis Holloway; and

  WHEREAS,  However,  many children on the spectrum often share common
core symptoms which  include:  impaired  social  interactions,  such  as
reluctance  to  join  group activities at school, not being aware of the
needs  of  others,  or   inability   to   understand   humor;   impaired
communication, such as delay in language development, unusual repetition
of  words  and  phrases  spoken  by  others  or  on television, or major
difficulty  sustaining  a  conversation;   and   restricted   interests,
repetitive  behaviors,  and  stereotyped  mannerisms,  such as clapping,
finger flicking, rocking, dipping, and swaying, fascination  with  parts
of  an object or preoccupation with one narrow interest such as dates or
numbers; and


  WHEREAS,  While medications are available for some common behavioral
symptoms like irritability or anxiety, there are no  FDA-approved  drugs
to treat any of the core symptoms of these conditions; and

  WHEREAS,  Autism  is  a disease with significant unmet patient needs
and is a complex developmental disability that typically appears  during
the  first  three  years  of  life  and  affects  a  person's ability to
communicate and interact with others; and

  WHEREAS, Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors  and  is  a
spectrum  disorder  that  affects individuals differently and to varying
degrees; and

  WHEREAS, There is no known single cause of autism; in March of 2012,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM  autism
prevalence  report  which  concluded  that  the prevalence of autism had
risen to one in every 68 births in the United States and almost  one  in
54 boys; and

  WHEREAS,  It is imperative that there be greater public awareness of
this serious health issue, and more must be done to increase activity at
the local, State and national levels; now, therefore, be it

  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its  deliberations  to
memorialize  Governor  Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim April 2019, as Autism
Awareness Month in the State of New York, in conjunction  with  National
Autism Awareness Month; and be it further

  RESOLVED,  That  a  copy  of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the  State  of
New York.