Submitted by: Dannah Chappell, BCBA
Our favorite month of the year is almost here! April is Autism Awareness month and there will be countless events around town to help us spread awareness about Autism and get involved in the community. It has been nearly 25 years since the Autism Society launched the nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and inclusion. Their main goal is to assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. In addition to Autism Awareness Month, this year will be the ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day—celebrated on April 2 by “lighting it up blue” all around our communities and the world!
How is Autism Awareness Month celebrated?
- Presidential and Congressional declarations
- Online events and activities
- Businesses such as GameStop offer options for in-store and online donations during the month of April
- Many apps and educational games/programs are available during April for a discounted price
- Local events and activities through affiliates
- Autism Speaks Walks: follow this link to find a walk near you https://act.autismspeaks.org/site/SPageServer;jsessionid=00000000.app30117a?pagename=walk_homepage&NONCE_TOKEN=C0A037572D2CD9353CAF091E355A7DEF#find-your-walk
- Autism Awareness Resources Fairs
- Many school districts will partner with the local parent support groups to create family fun days
- See this site to find resources and events near you: https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-guide
What can you do?
- Sign up for e-newsletter Autism Mattersto continue sharing ideas on how to make a better world for autism.
- Sport the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon wherever you go. It is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. You can show your support by pinning a ribbon on your shirt, putting a magnet on your car, or even a badge on your blog/social media page. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon, follow this link: https://dsiresources.com/Home.aspx.
- Go to autismspeaks.org/liub for more information on World Autism Awareness Day and for links to purchase blue items.
- If you are a parent of a child with ASD:
- Try to attend all the local events and activities in your area. Don’t feel pressured to stay for long.
- Encourage family members, coworkers, friends to share information on ASD and attend the local events and activities in your community.
Encourage your children’s schools to participate in Light it Up Blue but using the Puzzle Piece Project Tool Kit. This project was created by special education teachers to be used in schools to raise awareness and understanding about ASD in other children. You can find more information about this project at: https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/puzzle-piece-project-tool-kit