Councilmember Derek Green goes down a slide with a young man


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PHILADELPHIA, April 28, 2022 – As the official observance of National Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month concludes this week, Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large) took a moment today to pause and reflect on the importance of year-round acceptance, awareness, inclusivity, and advocacy for individuals with Autism and their families. He shared his thoughts in the following statement:

“For many of us with loved ones with Autism, April is a very special month. It’s a time to celebrate the tireless efforts and extraordinary talents of individuals, advocates, caregivers, and educators who help to promote increased understanding about the complexities of such neurodiversities like Autism; not just for 30 days out of the year, but all year long. According to the latest data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with Autism every year. Just as we understand that learning and navigating the realm of Autism does not stop at a certain age, we must remember the work to support families along this journey also continues as our kids transition from secondary education into adulthood.

For families like my own, we know these challenges all too well. That is why earlier this month, I sponsored a resolution in honor of Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month, highlighting the dedication and commitment of advocates like Mary Kachline and Ethel Funches of the Free Library of Philadelphia – Wynnefield Branch. Through their thoughtfully curated ‘Autism 365’ Collection and monthly Autism Block Parties, as well as other regularly held clinics and workshops, they’re constantly underscoring the significance of having such invaluable resources readily available for parents/guardians of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. On behalf of my family, I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this resolution. Most importantly, I want to personally commend Mary, Ethel, and all the rest of our advocates for their steadfast support and ongoing promotion of inclusivity, accessibility, awareness, and understanding surrounding Autism.”

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