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Coloring the World with Acceptance: Autism Acceptance Month

April 1, 2024 | by sau1admin

Text reads Autism Acceptance Month. To the right of the text is a pile of different colored paper with the rainbow infinity symbol on top.

In 2021, April was changed from Autism Awareness Month to Autism Acceptance Month, by The Autism Society of America. At the time, Autism Society of America CEO and president, Christopher Banks talked to USA Today about the change.

“Awareness is knowing that somebody has autism,” Banks said. “Acceptance is when you include (a person with autism) in your activities. Help (them) to develop in that community and get that sense of connection to other people.”

In honor of autism acceptance, we will be coloring in some of the unknown truths about Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. There is a lot of information available about ASD, but if you're unfamiliar, you may be wondering what exactly ASD is?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tells us that ASD is “A developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.”

But, not all people with ASD have the same symptoms. The definition above gives a wide range of symptoms that could be experienced by some, but not all.

The CDC’s most recent information tells us that about 1 in 36 children are diagnosed with ASD. That is why early intervention is so important. There are resources available but not everyone knows about them, and that is why advocacy for ASD resources is also important.

The United Nations saw the need to start advocating for early intervention and ASD resources. In 2008, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities decided to bring more awareness to ASD and ASD resources by making April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day. They did this to shine a light on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to make it known that people with ASD can live the life they want when they have the correct supports and services available to them.

In the USA Today article talked about at the beginning of this post, autistic professor Ludmila Praslova says that like with Autism Awareness Month changing to Autism Acceptance Month, many autistic adults celebrate acceptance in inclusion on this day, focusing on diversity and completeness instead of a cure.

As mentioned above, resources are available to those with an ASD diagnosis. In Pennsylvania these resources include:

  • waiver services
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • early intervention services,
  • and more!

Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) is a great organization that offers resources and tools to help people in Pennsylvania experiencing ASD live their life the way they choose.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has an Autism Acceptance Month Website with lots of information and resources.

The CDC also has an Autism Acceptance Toolkit with resources you can use to share autism acceptance in April and always.

SAU1 is proud to support people with ASD. If you are looking for resources, you can visit the resources page on our website. You can also attend one of our free virtual or in person Power Events to learn how to speak up and live your life your way!

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