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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 3506

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


HOUSE RESOLUTION

No. 680 Session of 2008


        INTRODUCED BY MARKOSEK, McILVAINE SMITH, D. O'BRIEN, BASTIAN,
           BISHOP, BRENNAN, CALTAGIRONE, CIVERA, COSTA, DALEY, ELLIS,
           FABRIZIO, FRANKEL, GEORGE, GIBBONS, GINGRICH, GOODMAN,
           GRUCELA, HARHAI, HERSHEY, HESS, HICKERNELL, HORNAMAN,
           W. KELLER, KORTZ, KOTIK, LENTZ, MANTZ, MARSHALL, McCALL,
           McGEEHAN, MENSCH, MILLARD, MOUL, MUNDY, MUSTIO, NAILOR,
           O'NEILL, PHILLIPS, PICKETT, RAMALEY, READSHAW, SAINATO,
           SANTONI, SOLOBAY, SONNEY, SWANGER, THOMAS, VULAKOVICH, WALKO
           AND WATSON, APRIL 1, 2008

        INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35,
           APRIL 1, 2008

                                  A RESOLUTION

     1  Recognizing April 2, 2008, as "World Autism Awareness Day" in
     2     Pennsylvania.

     3     WHEREAS, Cited as the fastest growing neurobiological
     4  disorder in the world, autism is a complex, lifelong
     5  developmental disability which impairs an individual's ability
     6  to verbally and nonverbally communicate, as well as to socially
     7  interact with others; and
     8     WHEREAS, According to the Autism Society of America, the
     9  prevalence of autism has increased exponentially within the last
    10  six years, affecting individuals and families in epidemic
    11  proportions across the globe; and
    12     WHEREAS, Current diagnosis rates in individual countries and
    13  regions suggest the possibility of tens of millions of people
    14  encompassing the autism spectrum worldwide; and

     1     WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
     2  report that as many as 1.2% of European and Scandinavian
     3  children are affected by autism; and
     4     WHEREAS, In the United States, the Autism Society of America
     5  reports that 1.5 million children have been diagnosed on the
     6  autism spectrum, translating into one in 150 births and one in
     7  94 boys being diagnosed at a rate of 67 children per day and
     8  approximately one new case every 20 minutes; and
     9     WHEREAS, Within this Commonwealth, approximately 74,000
    10  individuals are currently on the autism spectrum; and
    11     WHEREAS, This year, more children will be diagnosed with
    12  autism than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined; and
    13     WHEREAS, Neither a cause nor a cure have been determined for
    14  autism, but treatment is available and most effective when
    15  initiated at an early age; and
    16     WHEREAS, Studies indicate children have a 50% chance of
    17  graduating from public school at an appropriate age level when
    18  they are diagnosed with autism and placed into treatment
    19  programs before three years of age; and
    20     WHEREAS, Less than 50% of children are diagnosed with autism
    21  before reaching kindergarten and many children from African-
    22  American, Latino and non-English-speaking households fail to
    23  receive a diagnosis before seven years of age; and
    24     WHEREAS, While the total cost of caring for children with
    25  autism throughout their lifetimes is approximately $3.5 to $5
    26  million per child, early detection and intervention dramatically
    27  increase a child's probability of leading a semi-independent
    28  lifestyle during adulthood, reducing the total lifelong care
    29  expenses by two-thirds; and
    30     WHEREAS, In an effort to address and curtail the far-reaching
    20080H0680R3506                  - 2 -     

     1  effects of autism on the global population, further funding must
     2  be devoted to finding a cause and cure, while awareness must be
     3  increased to promote greater recognition, understanding and
     4  support, along with earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment
     5  of autism; therefore be it
     6     RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize April
     7  2, 2008, as "World Autism Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania.
















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