East Hanover Celebrates April as Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month


EAST HANOVER, NJ- April’s East Hanover Town Council Meeting was opened with a proclamation by Mayor Joe Pannullo naming the month to be Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month throughout the township.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most pervasive developmental disabilities in America today. It is one that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral changes in the individual and people with Autism communicate, interact and learn in ways that are different from the norm. There is no medical test to aid in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but with advancements in understanding, we have grown to better recognize and support those of our families and communities that have this disability.

As of 2012, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention put rates of identified Autism Spectrum Disorder at one in every 68 children. This is a strong hike from the turn of the century where rates were only one in every 150 children. In New Jersey these numbers are even more staggering with one in every 41 children diagnosed with the disorder. It is almost impossible to find someone today who has not had some direct experience with the disorder.

Sign Up for E-News

“I, Joseph Pannullo, Mayor of the Township of East Hanover hereby proclaim April 2017 as National Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month in East Hanover,” Pannullo proclaimed. “I urge our residents to become better educated and informed on the subject of Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Residents who ride around the township may have noticed the advent of blue lights that adorn many of the local buildings and businesses. These lights are in honor Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions throughout the lifespan of individuals with Autism, and are in place to raise awareness of the disability throughout New Jersey and throughout the country. Mayor Pannullo encouraged any businesses in the township to participate in this cause and support the community effort.

The proclamation was accepted by Peter Fifoot. Fifoot is a member of the East Hanover community that is diagnosed with Autism and has been the recipient of the proclamation for the last several years. Not only did this young man stand up in front of the crowd to accept the award, but gave a moving speech of his own to all gathered at the Town Council meeting.

“In this month recognizing this disability, we must come to realize what Autism truly is,” Fifoot said. “It is a roadblock, but on a highway where there is a one, good samaritans and first responders will do their part to fix the roadblock. The same must be done here. First the community and the people must embrace and willingly help the person that has this disability.”

Each member of the Town Council took time during the meeting to explicitly state their pride for this young man and the steps he has taken. Many sitting on the council have watched Fifoot grow over the past several years and their words showed their dedication to Autism awareness and to helping those in the community who are affected by it.

“Remember,” Fifoot said, completing his address, “it takes a village to raise a child.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Hanover/Florham Park

Important Message for Florham Park Residents Regarding the Fourth of July

Important July 4th Celebration Reminder - Please be advised in the interest of safety and security, the entire parade route will be CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC beginning at 8:30am on July 4, 2018. This will impact residents who live along the parade route and all of the side streets that connect to the parade route. (Please see the map attached to this post)

Please ensure that you plan accordingly ...

DevCo is building a new version of Rutgers "The Yard." You may be surprised to see where.

June 8, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - In 2016, Rutgers University proudly opened “The Yard,” a student housing and retail complex along College Avenue built under the direction of the New Brunswick Development Corp.

Now the corporation, the non-profit development arm for the City of New Brunswick and commonly known as DevCo, is replicating the housing and commercial construction more than two hours ...

Shore Travel Idea - Visit the Debut of Belmar Arts’ Sculpture Garden and Labyrinth - June 2

BELMAR, NJ — Need an excuse to visit Belmar this weekend?  Curious about the eclectic collection of sculpture and other objects that occupies a small corner outside the Belmar Arts Center on River Road?  Why not solve both needs at once?

The public is invited to learn more about the Belmar Arts Sculpture Garden and Labyrinth during its official opening on Saturday, June 2 ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 8:00 PM

Education Center, West Orange

Night Moves: Evening Guided Zoo Tours

Education Other

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Mountain Lakes

Art at the Esplanade

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM


MakerFest 2018

Thirty Days after the Draft

It’s been just about thirty days since the 2018 NFL Draft and the New York Jets have been working hard to build the team fans have been waiting for. Let’s recap the first round draft pick before discussing OTA’s and other Jets info.

Some New York Jets fans were certain earlier in the 2017 season that with the way the win-losses were going, Sam Darnold would be the New York ...

1896 Miles Away But Hanover Park Stands with Sante Fe

June 16, 2018

EAST HANOVER, N.J.- After the awful events at Santa Fe High School last month, students at Hanover Park organized support. Under the supervision of Kim Lurz, and staff assistance, the students created a banner and put together giftbags for the victims of the attack. Recently students from Santa Fe High were featured on the  TODAY show and brought along the banner. 

Hornets ...


Beverly Jean (Charlton) Weimar, of Ship Bottom, and Florham Park, New Jersey passed away on March ...
Read more

Students at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Release Butterflies  

June 15, 2018

Students at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA learned all about the life cycle of butterflies from their start as tiny caterpillars until they emerged from their chrysalises as beautiful butterflies. They watched in awe as the butterflies were released into their natural habitat. 

The F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA ...