DUNWOODY, Ga. - The Dunwoody Police Department is helping to spread the word during Autism Awareness Month.
The patrol SUV driven by Sergeant Michael Cheek has been transformed from the standard gray and black to one with several multi-colored jigsaw puzzle pattern, the symbol of autism awareness.
The décor has a special place in Cheek’s heart. His son, Griffin, was diagnosed with autism. He found the Griffin Project, where officers visit schools around the city of Dunwoody to help teach special needs children how to interact with law enforcement.
His fellow brothers and sisters in blue, also are showing their support. Each of their vehicles has an Autism Awareness ribbon on it.
The puzzle piece was chosen to represent autism to show the complexity of the spectrum and how many are still learning about its different variants as well as the diversity of those who are living with the condition.
The word is getting out. Various autism awareness organizations state the diagnosis has gone from 1 in 125 children to 1 in 59 children over the past decade. They believe the increase is in awareness in recognizing it and not in the number of actual cases.
It is a simple message of awareness from the same city which has lived by the motto “Everything will be okay” during these uncertain times.