CEDAR GROVE, NJ - There will be an Autism Awareness Event at the Cedar Grove Public Library, One Municipal Plaza, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.

The R.E.A.L.I.S.E. (Realizing Excellence for Alternative Learners In Special Education) group of Cedar Grove along with the Cedar Grove Public Library are hosting the event.

The event will begin with a performance by Cedar Grove High School’s a cappella group. Following the performance, there will be a screening of the Oscar nominated documentary, "Life Animated." The film follows the story of Owen Suskind, a young man with autism, who was unable to speak as a child. Suskind’s family discovered a unique way to communicate with him, by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This coming-of-age story follows Suskind as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence.

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The event is free and is open to all adults and adolescents who are interested in learning more about autism.

Professional development certificates are available for attending the event.

The latest data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that one out of every 68 children is on the autism spectrum nationwide. New Jersey’s numbers are higher than the national average. New Jersey’s numbers are the highest in the country. In New Jersey, statistics show that one in 41 children are on the autism spectrum. With the instances occurring greater in boys, autism affects one out of every 26 boys and one out of every 117 girls in New Jersey.

The goal of the Autism Awareness initiative is to educate the population on the signs of autism to promote early intervention, and to foster understanding and acceptance.