1,000 Commitments Needed by November 30th to secure production
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – March 29, 2012 – The Autism Society of Alabama (ASA) is proud to announce the approval of the Autism Awareness distinctive license plate application. ASA must confirm 1,000 commitments by November 30, 2012 to have the license plates manufactured and be available for purchase in the future. Money raised will support ASA’s education and advocacy efforts, as well as their family camps, conferences, and seminars.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced the estimated number of U.S. autistic kids has skyrocketed by 78% since 2000. 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and among boys, it’s on in 54. ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, yet are on average 4 to 5 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. About 40% of children with an ASD do not talk at all. Another 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others may speak, but not until later in childhood. According to the national Autism organization, Autism Speaks, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, or pediatric AIDS combined.
Autism supporters, who wish to purchase the Autism Awareness distinctive license plate, may visit their local county license plate issuing official’s office at any time during the year regardless of their tag renewal month, complete a “Commitment to Purchase” application including each vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN, and pay the $50 additional fee. Applicants will continue to use their current, valid Alabama license plate (no registration changes are made at this point in the process). Applicants can complete the Autism Awareness license plate “Commitment to Purchase” applications any time during the year, and 80% of the additional fee will be donated to ASA.
Wellness Health and Pharmacy is sponsoring families who would like a car tag, but it is not in their budget at this time. In addition, applicants participating in the 2012 Walk for Autism throughout the state could potentially be sponsored. Contact ASA to learn how you or someone you love could be sponsored.
If the Autism Awareness license plate receives 1,000 “Commitment to Purchase” applications, the new license plates will be ordered, manufactured, and delivered to the county offices. The ASA will notify the purchaser if this occurs, and they will be responsible for taking the original “Commitment to Purchase” application and receipt to obtain the new tag. The applicant will receive credit for the prepayment of the $50 additional fee.
Gaining the 1,000 license plate commitments would mean a great deal to the Alabama families affected by autism says ASA Board President, Bill Pearson. Soon after his grandson, Henley, was diagnosed in 2002 at the age of 2, a good friend, a mother who had experienced a similar event, described what his daughter could expect. “She will wake up every morning with a knot in her stomach.” his friend said to him. An ASA Board member and mother of a child with autism recently told him of her feelings. “I felt alone; I just felt so alone.” she said. As the Board President, he has been sent an Autism Society of Alabama testimonial from a parent who described the day of her son’s diagnosis by writing, “I promise you, the most alone I have ever felt was the day he was diagnosed. I had no idea what to do, where to get help, what Autism was… it was like getting kicked off a cliff.” According to Henley’s mom, Bama Hager, “ASA helped us find our son’s therapist, whom we still use today. We will always be grateful for the information they provided.” These experiences are a few of thousands within Alabama and the Autism Society of Alabama exists to provide support, comfort and direction for as many as possible.
“We feel strongly that by securing a tag, we are ensuring more awareness and funding for our cause which now affects 1 in 88, and for boys, that number is 1 in 54,” Pearson said. “Hundreds, if not thousands of children and families in our state rely on the Autism Society of Alabama. We are excited to have the support of our fellow Alabamians and to be able to provide services for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families through education and advocacy. ”
About the Autism Society of Alabama
The ASA provides education and advocacy and supports families with camps, conferences and seminars. We are an advocate for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder on many fronts including an annual Autism Matters Legislative Day in Montgomery. The ASA assists Networking Groups around the state with information to empower their communities. The ASA holds various education seminars including, Making a Difference in Mobile Autism Conference. The ASA website provides access to resources for families and service providers. While traveling the state, the ASA staff responds to thousands of calls, emails and questions from parents, friends and service providers. Often the ASA is among the first contacts that a family member make prior to or after a diagnosis.
For more information about the license plate and to tell us your story and what the Autism Awareness license plate would mean to you, visit www.autism-alabama.org.