According to the most recent data from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, roughly 1 in 44 children has been identified with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
April is Autism Acceptance Month. If you’re looking for ways to get involved and support the autism community, we have some ideas for you!
You can participate by sharing information, learning more about it, giving contributions, and much more. Get involved with autism acceptance by taking these steps.
Learn More About Autism
The autism community has a ton of resources to help educate people. Learning is the first step, whether you have a child with autism or you simply want to help.
ASD is a developmental and neurological disorder that affects how individuals interact, learn, communicate, and behave. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, symptoms often appear during the first two years.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) states that individuals with autism may have difficulty communicating and interacting with others. They may show repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. Their symptoms may affect their ability to function in school or work.
There isn’t one singular type of autism but many subtypes. Autism spectrum disorder refers to a wide range of conditions. As such, someone with autism will face different challenges and have different strengths.
Join an Event or Run
There are many online events you can attend to educate yourself or to help a child with autism. There are support groups, webinars, parent training sessions, and much more.
There are also walks and runs you can join to help spread awareness and show your support. These walks are fundraising events designed to support individuals with autism and their families. Look for a local walk near you, sign up, and share the news with your friends and family.
The more people that get involved, the better! Join the run/walk with your community to show your support during Autism Acceptance Month and all year long.
Another way to help and increase autism acceptance is to volunteer your time. You can work as an advocacy ambassador and contact legislators, attend community outreach events, or educate the community.
Promote advocacy issues through the media, such as on social media or the news. Help inform others to raise awareness, encourage volunteering, assist fundraisers, and direct people to places where they can make contributions.
Help young adults with autism find employment opportunities by becoming a career coach or simply offering job search tools and advice.
Get your community involved! You might be surprised by how much support you’ll see.
If you’re financially able, contributions help progress research and provide resources. Charity and fundraising events provide vital support to the autism community. Money raised can go toward autism research and help change the lives of those in need for the better.
You can host an event and get the community together to raise awareness and funds. Consider hosting a sensory-friendly event or offering quiet spaces to make it less overwhelming and stimulating. Doing so helps individuals with autism with sensory sensitivity.
Ask your employer to get involved and participate in a workplace giving program. If your company doesn’t have a corporate giving program, you can help to get one established. You can sign up for either a single or ongoing payroll deduction.
You can set a specific amount for a donation or offer a percentage of your paycheck. Some companies even offer to match gifts, which can double the donation amount!
If it’s your birthday, you can also ask that people donate to those affected by autism instead of buying birthday gifts.
You can also donate cryptocurrency, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Another option to give is through IRA charitable donations, stock-appreciated securities, or donor-advised funds.
Show Support Through Shopping
Wear blue in April to support autism acceptance. Shop from organizations that support autism awareness, employ people with autism, or send a portion of the proceeds from the shop back to people in need.
AmazonSmile also allows you to support a charitable organization each time you shop. You can help out by simply buying the products you would have anyway by going to smile.Amazon.com in your browser. You can also activate it from your iOS or Android phone in the app.
AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of eligible purchases.
You can also show your support for your favorite autism charity or nonprofit by buying their merchandise. For instance, you can find t-shirts, bumper stickers, bags, jewelry, and much more. It all helps raise awareness and show support during Autism Acceptance Month.
Wear the Autism Awareness Ribbon
The puzzle piece is often associated with supporting people with autism as it represents the complexity of the autism spectrum. The puzzle ribbon was first introduced in 1999, and the different colors and shapes are meant to represent diversity. As one of the most recognized symbols in the autism community, wearing it shows your support.
Buying merchandise with the ribbon, such as pins, magnets, and t-shirts, shows the world you support people with autism and their families. It also reminds people about the importance of ongoing research and support and the struggle those with autism face.
Show Your Support During Autism Acceptance Month
Use these ideas to help show your support during Autism Acceptance Month and each day of the year. Any action that you take to show support will make a difference in someone’s life and let them know they aren’t alone.
Learn more about ASD and the assessment process for an autism diagnosis. At Developmental Pediatrics, we can help your child make the most of their strengths and face any challenges associated with autism. For parents in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and all of Texas, you can take the next step by requesting a consultation appointment today.