World Autism Day is Monday, April 2, 2018, which marked the kickoff of an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, launched the observance month to “promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.”
How can you get involved in the movement?
Learn more about how the autistic brain works: Leading autism expert Dr. Temple Grandin hosted a webinar with PresenceLearning’s Clay Whitehead to give special educators and administrators a deeper understanding of neurodiversity and how they can help students reach their fullest potential. You can watch a recording of the webinar here, read a summary of the webinar’s Q&A portion here, and download a free ebook, “5 Tips for Working with Children with Autism,” here.
Showcase your support with the Autism Awareness Ribbon: Autism Society created the puzzle piece ribbon to represent the complexity and diversity of those on the spectrum. The brightness of the ribbon represents the hope for increased awareness of autism, early intervention, and access to appropriate services and supports for individuals with ASD to help them lead fulfilling lives. Advocates wear the ribbon as a pin on their clothes, attach ribbon magnets on their cars, and more.
Get involved: This Huffington Post article suggests participating in one of the hundreds of autism walks scheduled around the nation or spending time with someone with autism. Or you can find your local Autism Society affiliate and attend events or activities they have planned. If you are interested in hosting an event, Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, has a Puzzle Piece Project and Autism Awareness Month toolkit for download here.
Lamar Hardwick, a pastor who was diagnosed with autism at age 36, encourages advocates for those with autism to use their platform to spread awareness and promote acceptance. He also suggests that individuals research and understand the policies affecting the autism community, and advocate for programs that support it.
Do you have any plans to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month? Tell us about it in the comment section.