“It is estimated that one out of every sixty-eight American children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder. This alarming statistic reflects a 30% increase from one in eighty-eight just two years ago. There are hundreds of families in the Finger Lakes region affected by autism,” said New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio.
“Autism Awareness month provides us all with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the difficulties that those with autism face and to provide information on the services and programs that are available to these individuals and their families,” continued Senator Nozzolio.
In recognition of individuals diagnosed with autism, as well as their families and the dedicated professionals who work with them, Senator Mike Nozzolio is helping to commemorate the month of April 2014 as Autism Awareness Month. Earlier this week, the State Senate adopted a legislative resolution co-sponsored by Senator Nozzolio to designate April as Autism Awareness month as a way to focus more attention on the challenges that families affected by autism face.
Earlier this year, Senator Nozzolio joined with Happiness House to co-sponsor an Autism Summit meeting with autism professionals, service providers, educators and parents in his District to learn more about the challenges that families with a child or family member diagnosed with autism face. This was the second Autism Summit that Senator Nozzolio has held in his District.
“A diagnosis of autism affects not just the child, but the entire family, and unfortunately the number of children diagnosed with autism continues to rise," said Senator Nozzolio. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Happiness House and other local service providers to provide critically important information about the services that are available to families dealing with a diagnosis of autism.”
Senator Nozzolio has been a strong advocate for individuals and families living with autism. Senator Nozzolio previously secured funding to establish the Happiness House Autism Evaluation Center in Geneva in order to provide families with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options right here in the Finger Lakes region.
Senator Nozzolio also co-sponsored and successfully fought to enact legislation to require health insurance policies to provide coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment for patients in the autism spectrum. This legislation was adopted in both houses of the State Legislature and signed into law, closing the gap in coverage for families living with autism. This law is one of the strongest autism insurance reforms in the Nation and as a result, thousands of families will be eligible to receive early diagnosis and intense early intervention services.
“Families coping with autism need all the help, support and extra care that we can provide. As State Senator, I will continue fighting to support programs that help children diagnosed with autism, and I remain committed to helping support these individuals and their families,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.