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posted: 5/20/2013 5:00 AM

Autism campaign needs advocates

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During April Autism Awareness month, many parents of children on the spectrum heard new statistics -- that 1 in 50 children are now being diagnosed with autism.

People need to be aware of the increasing number of children and adults with autism who need understanding and help to have a happy and productive life -- when medical insurance, education, job training, housing for people with developmental disabilities, to name a few, are nowhere near meeting the demand and needs of an exploding population.

With that in mind, Autism Speaks is looking for advocates in Illinois congressional districts to first call on congressmen and women to advocate for federal legislation important to families with children and adults on the autism spectrum and Autism Speaks; then call on state legislators to promote and advocate state-based initiatives.

District advocates would be also in charge of developing grass-roots initiatives to improve autism awareness and support and to help improve education and services.

If you are interested, have experience with working in your community, have talked with your legislative representatives before and have a connection with autism, email me at

Mike Baker

Autism Speaks

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