Several Ways to Show Support During Autism Awareness Month

Every April, the world shows support and understanding for those with autism during Autism Awareness Month. Kicking off on April 2nd with World Autism Awareness Day, April is a time for not only increasing knowledge about autism but promoting wide understanding of it, as well. This April will mark the 17th Annual World Autism Awareness Day. 

Originally created in 2007 by the United Nations, World Autism Awareness Day was created “in order to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.” Founded by the United Nations, which is grounded on the principles of celebrating diversity and promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities, World Autism Awareness Day was unanimously declared as a method to provide wide support for those with autism. 

While we know much more about autism today than we did years ago, there still are various misconceptions about the neurological condition. At the core, it is vital to know autism is a communications disorder. According to un.org, this disorder “is characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.” Again, it truly is a communications disorder which can, at times, make it difficult for those with autism to function according to day-to-day set social norms. 

During Autism Awareness Month, there are a variety of ways to show support for those dealing with autism as well as the caretakers of those individuals. Curious about how you can show your support? Read on for FIVE simple ways to celebrate those with autism this month. 

Autism Acceptance Support Method #1: Deck yourself out in BLUE! Wearing blue this month shows that you support and care about those dealing with autism. You can wear a simple blue ribbon to work or a blue tee from the Autism Speaks website which empowers those with autism. 

Autism Acceptance Support Method #2: Promoting acceptance versus awareness. While even the title of the month still includes “awareness,” today, many are already aware of autism. This said, society needs to move away from simply being “aware,” and into the realm of how we can fully “accept” all dealing with autism. Acceptance can look like listening to stories from autistic individuals and showing support to them as they tell you their experiences. 

Autism Acceptance Support Method #3: Join Autism Speaks through social media! With more than 2.8 million followers, Autism Speaks is a huge support organization for those with autism. This group helps foster understanding and acceptance by sharing the diverse stories of people on the spectrum. Consider submitting your own story about your experience with autism or your loved one’s experience on their social media pages.

Autism Acceptance Support Method #4: Light the city blue! Home Depot, along with other major home improvement stores, are exclusively selling blue light bulbs for individuals to insert into their regular lamps and lights. Thousands of homes, offices, buildings and landmarks will be lit in the tell-tale blue color this month, showing their solidarity in support for worldwide autism acceptance. 

Autism Acceptance Support Method #5: Promote kindness for all by taking part in the Autism Speaks Kindness Campaign. The Autism Speaks Kindness Campaign encourages acceptance, understanding and inclusion with daily acts of kindness. By going to their website, it is easy to sign up for The Kindness Campaign anytime of the year. The campaign offers three diverse ways to take part. From “Live with Kindness,” which enables individuals to participate in their own kindness campaign; to “Lead with Kindness,” which allows businesses to participate in a kindness campaign; to finally “Learn with Kindness,” which is a kindness campaign for schools; joining one of these campaigns is a surefire way to celebrate World Autism Month in April or World Kindness Day in November.

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