30 Ways to Support Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month
April is just around the corner and that means we’re getting ready to support the acceptance and inclusion of autistic people. Looking for ideas? Here are some to get you started.
- Treat yourself to some goodies from The Chocolate Spectrum
(where you can order online, visit the cafe, or take a chocolate-making class) or other places that employ people with autism.
- Read and share 5 references that support the use of AAC & Autism.
- Help your family or community go beyond awareness and into acceptance.
- Learn and share information about Autism Safety – Be AWAARE!
- Know an autistic MineCraft lover? Introduce them to AutCraft.
- Educate yourself on terminology that relates to autism and people with ASD. We may have learned people-first language back in grad school, but there are different points of view on that. This is a great time to learn about identity-first language.
- Apply your critical reasoning skills to organizations that serve people with autism and evaluate their approach to their constituents. Are their actions consistent with these principles?
- Pass the popcorn! Watch a movie featuring characters with autism, such as Adam, Citizen Autistic, Loving Lampposts, Mozart and the Whale, Snowcake, Temple Grandin, and Wretches and Jabberers
- Learn about ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) and the philosophy ‘Nothing about me, without me.’
- Check out the visual supports for learning conversational and social skills from Joel Shaul at Autism Teaching Strategies.
- Tell others about the prerequisites for AAC using material from Speech & Language Kids (By the way, there are none!)
- Get the perspective of a person with autism who shares thoughts on being involved in research.
- Start following an autism self-advocate’s blog or Facebook page Some suggestions: Karla’s ASD Page and Paula Durbin-Westby
- Connect a family to the Center for Technology and Disability so they can learn about options for people with autism.
- Read or recommend another book about autism, like Painted Words. Try the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Bookstore for ideas.
- Organize, attend, or volunteer at a autism and/or sensory friendly event such as a video game fundraiser, Lego building event, sensory-friendly performance, etc.
- Learn more about how autism affects women at the Autism Women’s Network.
- Listen and share a great online module. Autism Internet Modules are excellent and free.
- Explore the history of people with autism.
- Create some visual supports for a student, teacher, or family who needs them.
- Teach literacy to ALL learners. Share free resources that are for beginning readers at any age-, like Tar Heel Reader
- Support a business for people with autism or other developmental disabilities.
- Treat yourself to original art from Artists with Autism or other arts organizations
- Watch a video about positive behavioral and visual supports. Learn more about the behavior-communication link
- Go to a bakery that is celebrating autism awareness month. Lee & Marie’s Cakery Company is an amazing bakery that you must try (locations in Miami & New York).
- Support anti-bullying initiatives that are respectful of diverse populations, such as this one that focuses on the Minecraft community.
- Mentor a new speech-language pathologist or teacher in the area of communication and autism.
- Share a video about autism with some of the little people in your life. Need suggestions? Click here for a few ideas.
- Bake, share, and eat some desserts with some of your autistic friend. Need inspiration? Try some Chocolate-covered Pretzels or Rice Crispy Treats
- Follow a parent autism blog such as Small But Kinda Mighty and Autism from a Father’s Point of View.
What’s your favorite way to support the acceptance and inclusion of people with autism? We’d love to hear about it.
This post was written by Carole Zangari