WHEREAS, autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior; and
WHEREAS, autism is an urgent public health crisis that demands support from all levels of government; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of autism may present themselves in a variety of combinations, and can result in significant lifelong impairment of an individual’s ability to learn, develop healthy interactive behaviors, and understand verbal and nonverbal communication; and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 59 school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is committed to ensuring that people living with autism have access to lifelong care and services needed to pursue their full potential and happiness; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is honored to take part in the annual observance of Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day in the hope that it will lead to a better understanding of the disorder;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2019 as AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH and April 2, 2019, as WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.