About 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder according to the Centers for Disease Control, in numbers released just this past March.
Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca noted that statistic in proclaiming April as Autism Awareness Month in Maplewood at the Township Committee meeting on April 17.
In accepting the proclamation, co-owner Jonah Zimiles added to DeLuca's information by citing New Jersey's latest statistic: Autism affects 1 in 49 children in the Garden State.
Zimiles accepted the proclamation with the help of his son Daniel, who has autism.
DeLuca thanked Zimiles for his tireless work on behalf of autism — much of it through programming at Words. Zimiles said that Words would be focusing on autism with many events at the store this month, including workshops, lectures, book signings and readings, and even yoga. Visit wordsbookstore.com for more information.
Maplewood resident Robert Howley also thanked the Township Committee for the proclamation. Howley, whose daughter Kathleen Marie has autism, said, "I cannot say enough about how much she has been accepted by the Maplewood and South Orange community."