ADHD and Autism

Let’s Increase Awareness AND Acceptance During Autism Awareness Month

Peace at Home March 23, 2023 | Stephanie Rondeau

About 1 in 44 children in the US have a diagnosis of autism, according to the CDC. It’s likely that your child has friends or classmates who are autistic, or maybe they have been diagnosed themself.  With April being Autism Awareness month, this is an excellent time to focus on understanding and acceptance.

Try to think of this month as a jumping off point, not a singular event. This is a great way to continue supporting those with autism long after April is over. Whether learning more yourself, or you’re trying to help those around you have a better understanding of autism, there are many ways that you can help.

  • Consider Awareness vs. Acceptance: This difference in word choice can make a big difference in the long run. It’s wonderful to help spread awareness about what autism is, but it’s even better to help our children understand that the ultimate goal should be acceptance and support for all. Even though April is officially Autism Awareness month, consider using the word “acceptance” when speaking to your child about it. Together, you can make a plan to spread both awareness and acceptance. 
  • Join a Kindness Campaign. Consider joining one of the various Kindness Campaigns run by the well-respected organization, Autism Speaks. These campaigns are wonderful and impactful ways for you and your family to contribute toward encouraging kindness and inclusion for people with autism. You can share the campaigns with your friends, family, and coworkers to extend the reach of your impact even further. 
  • Wear Blue on April 2. On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, wear blue to show your support to those who have been diagnosed with autism. Also brought to you by Autism Speaks, many companies participate on this day with “Light It Up Blue,” using blue lighting on corporate buildings, etc to signify support and acceptance. Consider asking your company if they’ll be taking part. 
  • Find Local Organizations. Search social media and local news outlets to find organizations in your area that are hosting events to support the autism community. These might be walks, runs, or other fundraising events, and they are a wonderful way to engage with your community while also providing support to autism research and resources for the autism community. 

Remember to open up discussions with your children – ask them what they know about autism, how they learned about it and if they have any friends or classmates with this way of thinking and what they have learned from them. Discuss with your kids the ways that you can help spread acceptance and awareness as a family. Consider letting your child lead the way in finding an organization for you to contribute time or resources to as a family. However you are able to help, try to keep your momentum going long after April is over, and encourage your children to do the same.

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