Autism awareness is one of the best ways to create a more understanding and accepting world for our children and loved ones with autism. A great way to show your support and advocate for autism awareness is by celebrating Autism Awareness Month.
In this piece, we’ll cover:
- When is Autism Awareness Month?
- Is there a national Awareness Day for autism?
- What is autism acceptance?
- How to support autism awareness
- How to celebrate Autism Awareness Day.
When is Autism Awareness Month?
Autism Awareness Month is in April, and it is one of the best opportunities to help spread autism awareness education. Though our goal should be to provide alliance and support every day of the year, a month-long celebration and education period is a great way to showcase important information to friends, family, and potential new allies for our children with autism.
Why is April Autism Awareness Month?
Unity in our messaging and actions surrounding autism awareness is one of the best ways to make children feel comfortable and accepted for who they are. Having a dedicated month in April lets businesses, foundations, and individuals showcase their allyship and how they plan to help the cause, like focusing on human rights, accessible housing, and comprehensive long-term services for people with autism.
Is There a National Awareness Day for Autism?
National Awareness Day for Autism is April 2nd; it helps kick off Autism Awareness Month. Also known as World Autism Awareness Day, allies are encouraged to:
- Wear gold colors in support of autism acceptance
- Display the color-coordinated infinity symbol when appropriate.
- Attend or support autism-friendly events.
- Follow and listen to autistic creators
- Support autistic owned businesses
- Join virtual fundraisers or social media campaigns.
- Help local schools and clinics with autism awareness programming.
We recommend that you look into local programs you can contribute to in addition to prominent online organizations. Most importantly, use these times of awareness and education to help create a better environment for your child with autism.
What is Autism Acceptance?
Autism acceptance is an addition to autism awareness with the goal of making people with autism feel good about who they are without suggesting changes. Often, people mistake autism awareness as a movement to help ‘fix’ people with autism. This is especially inappropriate for people who are not part of someone’s support system, even though many of these ideas are well-intentioned. Autism acceptance is a way of letting the people we care about know that they are welcome to live life without having autism be the focus at every turn.
How to Support Autism Awareness and Acceptance
Here are 10 of our favorite ways to show love to the autism community during Autism Awareness Month:
- Wear or display the infinity symbol: The Infinity Symbol represents the diversity of the autism spectrum. Using a rainbow or gold infinity symbol is common, and there are ribbons, banners, stickers, and digital widgets that are popular.
- Educate Yourself About the Autism Conversation: One of the best ways to help reduce stigma and produce positive change is to know the facts about autism acceptance. Research and best practices are constantly changing, and helping your loved ones and support group stay up to date is a great way to show your alliance.
- Support Autism–Friendly Businesses: One of the greatest celebrations of success in the Autism community is business ownership or employment at a local business. Here’s an awesome directory of businesses that consistently employ people with autism; we recommend giving them a try!
- Create a Donation Campaign: Personally donating or organizing a campaign to raise money for autism spectrum disorder is one of the best ways to give back. Some people do better when they can see a tangible contribution, so using social media or local organizations to run a fundraiser during April can be an amazing contribution.
- Be a Year–Round Ally: This is one of the key points of messaging for Autism Awareness Month: we educate and celebrate in April so that we can change lives year-round by being allies.
- Watch Movies and Shows Featuring Characters with Autism: Accurately portraying people with autism as normal members of society is huge for acceptance. Supporting the media that does a good job of this is a great way to show your support.
- Follow Blogs or Social Media Pages That Support Autism: Whether it is a foundation posting research and fundraising, or individuals with autism documenting their life journey, online support is critical for autism awareness. Liking, sharing, and interacting with such content creators will only support the growth of their audience and encourage creators to keep providing valuable resources to the community.
- Create Resources for Teachers, Clinicians, and Students Near You: Autism support is not achieved without the proper resources. This can include visual aids, book donations, food and drinks for fundraising events, or any sort of technical expertise you can offer to organizations in need.
- Learn and Share Information About Autism Safety: Autism Awareness extends into the unique safety needs of people with autism. Learning and sharing the perils of things like wandering can help prevent stressful situations – or even save lives.
- Be Open-Minded to All Autism Allies: Autism awareness and being an ally can be a deeply personal journey, especially if you have family members or loved ones who need support for autism. However, there are many different ways to support autism awareness, and every bit counts. Don’t try and hold others to unreasonable standards or apply pressure for more; we should be building an inclusive community of autism awareness.
- Accommodate and Support Lifestyles and Preferences of People with Autism
For people with autism, there can be additional challenges in learning life skills, finding housing, or maintaining healthy routines. Being supportive of lifestyle choices and helping to achieve goals can be done through many avenues in our lives. If you are a friend, family member, or advocate, taking someone to appointments or helping with applications is a great way to support them. Additionally, providing tools to help with cope with daily stressors or to support expression can be a valuable addition to the life of someone you care about.
These are just eleven ways you can support autism awareness and acceptance – there are plenty more you’ll likely find along the way. Finding the ones that fit you and your loved ones’ unique needs is a great way to keep the momentum of Autism Awareness Month going year-round.
How to Celebrate Autism Awareness Day?
There is not just one way to celebrate Autism Awareness Day, and any contribution helps. Knowing common ways people worldwide celebrate will give you a great jumpstart in joining the cause!
What is the theme for Autism Awareness 2022?
In 2022, the theme for Autism Awareness Day is ‘Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World.’ This theme is meant to showcase how common daily challenges for people globally are also having a significant impact on the autism community in ways we can mutually learn from. Each autism awareness and acceptance theme provides a long-term backdrop for creating resources about open-minded discussion and compassionate action.
What is the Color For Autism Awareness?
A rainbow has recently become the prevalent color for supporting autism awareness and acceptance. This is to best represent neurodiversity as a spectrum with nuance. Blue has historically been the worldwide color for autism support, and there is no harm in wearing any color to support the autism community’s efforts.
In order to support autism awareness and acceptance, we recommend you wear rainbow colors or display them on Autism Awareness Day, which is April 2nd, 2022.
Why are Autism Colors a Rainbow?
The colors for the autism awareness color are mixed or in a rainbow to represent the complexity of the autism spectrum. The various shapes, colors, and patterns used in ribbons and art pieces represent the diversity of people and families who live with autism.
The best way to celebrate Autism Awareness Day is by finding a comfortable way for you to participate and support your loved ones with autism. Inclusiveness, education, and awareness take a unified effort locally, nationally, and globally – your efforts count towards all of them.
Help Support Autism Awareness with Ally Pediatric Therapy
At Ally Pediatric Therapy, we work year-round to help provide the best resources for people with autism and their families. This means providing programming, education, and specialized expertise to make life easier for children on the spectrum and their allies.
We want you to celebrate success in April, year-round and life-long, and our licensed clinicians can help make this happen.
See how we support autism awareness – and what we can do for you and your family.