Autism Awareness Month
Infographic: Autism Awareness Month
Autism Awareness Month takes place in April every year and is an important event that helps to raise awareness about those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Learn more about this event, how you can support it, and other ways to support autistic individuals.
Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month, which is why we’re going to take a look at what it is about, when it was started, and how everyone can do their bit to raise awareness about autism.
Infographic: Autism Awareness Month
This amazing infographic was given to Lighthouse by Andy Mohr Toyota. The infographic shows the importance of Autism Awareness Month and how to #LightItUpBlue!
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined by the Autism Society of America as “a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.”
The autism spectrum includes a range of conditions affecting social skills, behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. The disorders found within the ASD spectrum include:
- Autistic Disorder
- Rett syndrome
- Childhood disintegrative disorder (also known as Heller’s syndrome)
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified
- Asperger’s syndrome
Signs and symptoms are usually noticeable in early childhood and emerge between 24 and 36 months of age. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to learn the early signs of autism in children and infants. It is important that you are familiar with typical developmental milestones your child should be reaching as well.
Some of the most common signs of ASD in children are:
- Not responding to their name
- Avoiding eye contact
- Getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell, or sound
- Repetitive movements and phrases
- One-sided conversations without needing a response
Of course, ASD is unique in every person, and no two people have the exact same symptoms.
Children with ASD also tend to excel at particular things and have above-average intelligence. Some of the things that they might excel at include music, academics, and visual skills. Roughly 40% of those diagnosed with autism have above-average intellectual abilities.
Inclusion and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders are just as important as educating the community and bringing awareness to autism.
Autism Awareness Month Facts
Want to learn more facts about autism?
- In 1972, the Autism Society launched the first annual National Autistic Children’s week, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the official Autism Awareness Day was declared to fall on April 2nd by the United Nations General Assembly.
- Although Autism Awareness Day still officially falls on April 2nd, most countries recognize the month of April as Autism Awareness Month.
- If you’re wondering what the color for Autism Awareness Month is, it’s blue. It’s also the official color for the “Light It Up Blue” campaign. However, many people choose to wear other bright colors to help promote this month as well.
How People Can Raise Awareness About Autism
Many people wonder how to support Autism Awareness Month every year. Some choose to wear the Neurodivergent rainbow-colored infinity symbol, or blue or other bright-colored clothes that stand out. Some also choose to organize or host autism-friendly events or fundraisers, as well as show their support through social media campaigns. Others help by sharing media that explains what autism is and how to understand it better. There are many different ways to show that you support autistic people and want to help spread awareness of autism during this month.
However, while it is important to have a month dedicated to raising awareness about autism, we don’t believe that autism awareness should be limited to a single month – it’s something that should happen every day.
If you would like to raise awareness about autism every day and not just wonder about things to do for Autism Awareness Month, here are some of the actions you can take:
Awareness starts at home, and you should do everything that you can to understand more about autism and how it affects people.
Attend local events
There are ongoing autism awareness events throughout the year. Go to these events, take your friends and family, and even volunteer if you have the time.
Stand up for others
If you see an autistic person being bullied or hear someone talking negatively about them, it’s time to stand up and let them know that it’s not okay.
Set a positive example
It’s important that you show others that allistic and autistic folks deserve the same respect. Always act with kindness and help people, and you will become a positive role model for others.
Methods of Inclusion and Acceptance
One of the biggest issues that people with ASD face is the feeling that they are not included and accepted. This could be for children in school or an adult at work.
It’s easy to help autistic people feel more included – keep an open mind and an open heart when interacting with autistic people. Invite them into your circles and to events (even when you know they will decline) and encourage others to treat autistic people with respect and understanding.
You can also become more involved by calling or writing to local legislators, state representatives, and other leaders about proposed legislation that could impact autistic people. Be aware of how new policies affect access to things like services, research, insurance, and more. Speak up and encourage others to do the same.
Contact us at Lighthouse Autism Center for more information about Autism Awareness Month. We also have a range of autism resources and information about our unique Lighthouse Fusion ABA therapy program for you to access online.
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