April is World Autism Month, which is designed to raise autism awareness and understanding around the world. The event was created by Autism Speaks, an organization that advocates for children and adults with autism and their families. You can learn more about the organization and their efforts by visiting www.autismspeaks.org.
There are many ways that you can get involved with autism awareness during the month of April, as well as at other times throughout the year. Here are a few ideas:
- Learn the signs of autism spectrum disorder so that you can engage with families if they have questions – the Autism Speaks website provides a screening tool that you can share with families if concerns arise
- Distribute information about autism in program newsletters and social media – a list of resources is available in the Autism Speaks Resource Library including this informative piece from the 100 Day Kit – https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/docs/about_autism_0.pdf
- Share information about community resources with families – you can find resources specific to your state on the website
- Participate in an Autism Speaks walk or race – you can locate an event near you one the website
- Volunteer to support a walk or race – many volunteers are needed to make these events successful
- Organize a fundraiser – information on the tools available to hold you own fundraiser are available on the website
- Follow Autism Speaks on social media and share events in your area with your contacts
- Write letters of support to state and federal lawmakers showing your support for additional funding for research and resources for individuals with autism and their families
Has your program engaged in a successful autism awareness event? Tell us about it on our Facebook page here!