CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Chicopee held a flag-raising ceremony to bring awareness and support to families impacted on Monday.

Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, local community members, organizations, and Chicopee High School came together to raise the Autism Awareness Flag.

Mayor John Vieau says this disorder is one that needs to be recognized and that Chicopee will continue to advocate for, “that’s the goal of today’s message, to get people to understand that there are children out there with autism. They are a little bit different from other children. They are still very proud and part of this community. We want to make sure they are included.”

Mayor John Vieau says knowing the facts about autism can play a big role in supporting and advocating for the autistic community in Chicopee. The education process here in the City and making sure they have the tools they need to be successful.

Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects the lives of millions of people worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism, making it the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the country.

The flag-raising will be conducted by local community members and other community organizations. The ceremony will be taking place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday in front of City Hall.