Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impacts an individual’s capacity to communicate with others. Since more than 3.5 million Americans are living with ASD, the chances are that you know someone with autism whether you are aware of it or not. Originating in 1965, The Autism Society began a widespread effort during the 1970s in hopes of increasing awareness of autism and ensuring each person with ASD can reach the greatest quality of life.
April is Autism Awareness Month, so we want to do our part to promote autism awareness and encourage others to get involved in the nationwide effort towards recognition and acceptance. Here are a few ways you can participate in Autism Awareness Month and become a part of the national movement:
Share the Logo
The most widely known symbol of autism awareness is its signature image – the puzzle ribbon. With different shapes and colors of puzzle pieces, this ribbon symbolizes the diversity and complexity of autism. All kinds of apparel and merchandise sporting the awareness ribbon can be purchased at The Autism Society. Spreading the image of this symbolic ribbon is an easy way you can increase awareness of autism. Try pinning one to your backpack or posting a picture on social media to make the symbol known to those who are not aware of its significance. This can advance advocacy and provide others with the facts about the condition.
Make Donations to Charity Organizations
The more research that is conducted, the more knowledge we can gain and the more advancements we can execute in effectively treating autism. Donating to charities can help support the budget for autism research – but be sure the organizations you donate to are credible, non-profit organizations. Below we have listed a few that are dedicated to pursuing research in hopes of improving the lives of individuals with ASD.
- Autism Speaks: Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks is a charity committed to furthering research concerning the causes and most effective treatment methods for autism spectrum disorders.
- The Autism Society: With the aim of promoting awareness regarding challenges people with ASD face, The Autism Society is a non-profit organization that helps raise public consciousness by providing access to facts about the condition.
- The Autism Research Foundation: This non-profit foundation strives to conduct research to produce results and contribute solutions such as family support, education, and social programs to those in the autism community.
If you do not have the means to donate to the cause, there are still several things you can do to be a part of Autism Awareness Month.
Join a Walk
There are numerous autism walks throughout the country during the year. Even if you can’t join one this April, you can still join at events at any point of the year to show your support and recognition for ASD.
Become an Advocate
Speak with your community school board, craft a letter, or attend a meeting to express support for children and teenagers with ASD in your district’s schools.