Autism New Jersey is ramping up their efforts to bring attention to the disorder that affects so many children, especially in New Jersey, as part of April's National Autism Awareness Month.

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The April efforts will work hand-in-hand with the the charity's 2012 campaign for their Autism Awareness Ambassadors program.

"The theme of this year's program is to create change," said Director of Development Ellen Schisler, "And essentially, we are looking for ambassadors to educate, inspire and lead the way."

The urgency to raise awareness has grown even more, as new figures show that 1 in every 49 kid in New Jersey is affected by autism.

"What we try to do at Autism New Jersey is ensure that people get accurate, evidence-based information," Schisler explained.

Autism New Jersey has been working at this mission since 1965, acting as the state's largest autism advocacy organization. They have had their Ambassador program in place for over a decade, with more than 1800 ambassadors nationwide across all 50 states, and over 600 volunteers in New Jersey.

"By programs like our ambassador program and the work that Autism New Jersey is doing, we're really helping people with autism become members of their communities and neighborhoods," Schisler said.

They are making raising awareness a priority in schools, business, communities, and places of worship during this campaign. This year, as well, social media will have a big hand in the ultimate goal, which is to spread the word about this disorder that affects more and more people, especially children in the Garden State.

"You look at some of the ambassadors who are personally affected and I think they see a real significant change in the way their communities embrace autism," Schisler said.

Learn more about the 2012 campaign, and how you can volunteer by visiting the Autism New Jersey website and Facebook page.

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