Letter to the Editor

Autism awareness is full-time effort

Sunday, May 13, 2007

To the editor:We're the parents, grandparents and caregivers of children with autism, and we've written this letter to thank the Southeast Missourian for the great coverage your newspaper has provided about this puzzling and complex medical condition. April was Autism Awareness Month, and your newspaper, as always, did an excellent job of educating the public and increasing awareness of this disability. We're also proud of the Southeast Missourian for understanding that autism is not just an "April" issue. Over the years you have provided thoughtful and thorough coverage of this topic, which has benefited individuals with autism in our region in many ways.

We also think it's important to recognize the impact state Sen. Jason Crowell has had regarding issues related to autism in our region. Several years ago he embraced the seriousness and importance of this condition and has spearheaded legislation which has made real differences in the lives of families touched by autism in Southeast Missouri, enough so that he has received national attention for his work. He is a hero to many of us.

April is Autism Awareness Month, but in Southeast Missouri, your newspaper and Senator Crowell have recognized the need for autism awareness every month and every day, and for this we are deeply grateful.

MARLEEN AARON, Mr. and Mrs. KEN BOREN, Dr. and Mrs. BRYAN BECK, LEIGHANNE and DALE COLLIER, MELINDA CLARK, DAVID CROWE, BILL and MISSY CURNELL, TOM and KIM HOLMAN, ROYCE ANN KESSEL, KAREN and DENNIS MANNING, TIM and LORI MARTIN, JON and CHRISSY MASSEY, AMY NEELS, BRIAN and LINDA RANDOLPH, SARAH and DAVID REINECKE, RON and NANCY ROBERTSON, MIKE and LANA SCIORTINO, TERRY and GLENDA SCHROETER, ZENITA SMITH, STEPHANIE SCHREMP.