Why Doesn’t Everyone Love Autism Awareness Month
Because Autism Speaks has become such a large and ubiquitous organization, it essentially “owns” autism awareness month. Television specials, telethons, multimedia advertising, and other forms of outreach are all part of the event.
But Autism Speaks has hadand continues to havea very questionable relationship with the autism community. Both autistic self-advocates and many groups of parents have had issues with their funding priorities, governance, and perspectives on the causes of autism. While some issues have gone away , others are still of concern.
Just a few of the issues people have with Autism Speaks:
For many families, particularly those who benefit from or support programs at Autism Speaks, Autism Awareness Month is a very important observance. For those with a different “neurodiverse” perspective, however, Autism Acceptance may be a better choice.
Why Is April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day in 2008 to highlight the need to improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society. The stated intent is to reduce worldwide discrimination against people with neurological differences and remove obstacles to diagnosis and therapies. By the way, the UN only has seven officially designated health-related days.
Long before the UNs declaration, the Autism Society of America worked to have autism awareness officially recognized every year. In the 1970s, the Autism Society began a nationwide campaign to raise autism awareness. In 1972, it launched the first National Autistic Childrens week, which has evolved into Aprils Autism Awareness Month. However, the organization prefers Autism Acceptance Month.
In 2021, the Autism Society of America began a campaign to local, state and federal leaders to officially name April Autism Acceptance Month. They have special initiatives as part of their #CelebrateDifferences campaign.
Other than the UNs declaration for World Autism Awareness Day, there has never been an official designation for the month by government entities.
our free infographic to learn more about Autism Acceptance vs. Autism Awareness.
The Origins Of Autism Awareness
Autism, as a diagnosis, has changed radically over the past several decades. Back before the 1990s, autism was not considered to be a spectrum disorder. Thus anyone with an autism diagnosis had relatively severe symptoms. Many professionals believed that autism was a result of poor parenting the famous psychologist Bruno Bettelheim wrote extensively about what he called “refrigerator” mothering. An adult with autism was typically thought to require an institutional setting.
The movie “Rain Man,” with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, provides a good insight into autism in those days. Hoffman’s character has been institutionalized for most of his life, despite his verbal and intellectual abilities. Leaving the institution is a frightening experience he requires full-time care from his brother in order to successfully navigate the outside world.
Enter Dr. Bernard Rimland. A psychologist with an autistic son, he debunked the “refrigerator mother” theory and created an organization called The Autism Society. The Autism Society began its first nationwide awareness program in the early 1970s. It was adopted by Congress in 1984. The iconic autism awareness ribbon was designed in 1999.
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Quotes To Uplift And Inspire You This World Autism Awareness Month
Happy World Autism Awareness Month from the AngelSense team! May you never lose sight of just how special the special people in your life are
1. Autism cant define me. I define autism. Kerry Magro
2. Everyone has a mountain to climb and autism has not been my mountain, it has been my opportunity for victory. Rachel Barcellona
3. I might hit developmental and societal milestones in a different order than my peers, but I am able to accomplish these small victories on my own time. Haley Moss
4. Anything Is possible! If I can do it, so can you! Dani Bowman
5. If I could snap my fingers and be non-autistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.- Temple Grandin
6. Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. Its that youre destroying the peg.- Paul Collins
7. Autism is part of my child, its not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.- S.L. Coelho
8. When enough people care about autism or diabetes or global warming, it helps everyone, even if only a tiny fraction actively participate. Seth Godin
9. Dont think that theres a different, better child hiding behind the autism. This is your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child. You may have to work harder on some of this, but thats the goal. Claire Scovell LaZebnik
The 2022 World Autism Awareness Day Observance
This years observance will address inclusive education in the context of SDG 4 – the promise and reality – through a virtual event that will include a moderated panel discussion, along with brief presentations by self-advocates, educators and other experts.
The theme of inclusive education is intrinsically linked with the focus of last years WAAD observance, Inclusion in the Workplace. Panelists in last years event emphasized how crucial it is to foster inclusive quality education for people on the autism spectrum so that they can fulfill their potential and achieve sustainable success in the labour market. In this respect, inclusive education is the key to the transformative promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, to LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND.
The event is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, with the support of civil society partners including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Global Autism Project and the Specialisterne Foundation. The event is co-sponsored by the United Nations Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Malta, and Poland.
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Even If We Break By Marieke Nijkamp
End the game before it ends you.
For five friends, it was supposed to be one last getaway before they went their separate waysa time to say goodbye to each other, and to the game theyve been playing for the past 3 years. But they all have their own demons to deal with and theyre all hiding secrets.
Finn hasnt been able to trust anyone since he was attacked a few months ago. Popular girl Liva saw it happen and did nothing to stop it. Maddy was in an accident that destroyed her sports career. Carter is drowning under the weight of his familys expectations. Ever wants to keep the game going for as long as they can, at all costs.
And things take a deadly twist when the game turns against them.
The Boys In The Back Row By Mike Jung
Best friends Matt and Eric are hatching a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a Giant Amusement Park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idola famous comic creator. Without cell phones. Or transportation. Or permission. Of course, their final adventure together is more than just thatreally, its a way for the boys to celebrate their friendship, and their honest love and support for one another.
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Ways To Celebrate Autism Awareness Month
Please check out the most recent set of suggestions here.
We love getting EVERYONE involved in Autism Awareness Month. We like to take a goal focused approach to our Autism Awareness Month activities by choosing projects that facilitate positive attitudes & discussions. We pass out materials, have contests, go to events, do extra talks, and try and engage EVERYONE we know and even some we do not know. We do a lot of shopping . Our families, pets, friends, and students all participate. It is a month filled with purposeful fun. Here are some of the things we will be doing. Please share any activities or projects that you know about.
Can You See Me By Rebecca Westcott And Libby Scott
Things Tally is dreading about sixth grade:
Being in classes without her best friends New uniforms Hiding her autism
Tally isnt ashamed of being autistic even if it complicates life sometimes, its part of who she is. But this is her first year at Kingswood Academy, and her best friend, Layla, is the only one who knows. And while a lot of other people are uncomfortable around Tally, Layla has never been one of them . . . until now.
Something is different about sixth grade, and Tally now feels like she has to act normal. But as Tally hides her true self, she starts to wonder what normal means after all and whether fitting in is really what matters most.
Inspired by young coauthor Libby Scotts own experiences with autism, this is an honest and moving middle-school story of friends, family, and finding ones place.
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Alaina Leary is the communications manager of We Need Diverse Books. She also teaches in the graduate department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College and is a book reviewer for Booklist. She received a 2017 Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship for her work in the publishing industry. Her writing has been published in New York Times, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Allure, Healthline, Glamour, The Oprah Magazine, and more. She currently lives in Boston with her wife and their two literary cats. Follow her @AlainasKeys on and .
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Happy Autism Awareness Day To Every Autistic Person Out There But Also To Their Loved Ones
To the autistic child, who cant talk but can communicate with PECS way to go, buddy, Im proud of you.
To the mother, overwhelmed by the amount of controversy in the autism community, follow your heart, try things out and see what works for your child.
To the little sister whos sad because her autistic brother cant have a conversation with her he still loves you, believe me, he does, even if he cant say it.
To the woman with Aspergers whos trying to find a job despite all the obstacles in her way, dont give up. You got this!
To the autism advocate, whos been abused, Im sorry that happened to you.
To the dad who proudly talks about his sons achievements even though theyre different from what he imagined youre amazing!
To the newly diagnosed autistic adult, whos trying to make sense of it all you dont need to figure it all out right now. You survived childhood with an undiagnosed developmental disability that shows strength.
To the autistic boy being bullied at school because of his differences Im so sorry, Ive been there. You may not see it right now, but the world is changing, and you have an army of people behind you who love you for who you are.
To the therapists who dedicate their lives to helping people with autism learn the most basic skills, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month which celebrates people on the autism spectrum and their contributions to society both nationally and internationally. The month also recognizes the needs of people with autism and their families. It also addresses the hardships those with autism face in society and what is being done to change that.
The United Nations issued a statement on April 2 for World Autism Awareness day.
Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressed some of the inequalities people with autism and other special needs experience today. He also briefly mentioned the 2030 agenda that aims to reduce inequality through political inclusion for everyone, including those who have disabilities.
We need to ensure that the rights, perspectives and well-being of persons with disabilities, including those with autism, are an integral part of building forward better from the pandemic, Guterres said.
On April 1, United States President Joe Biden also issued a proclamation regarding World Autism Awareness day.
The statement addressed the efforts Bidens administration is implementing to improve research on understanding the unique complexities of autism.
More than 5 million Americans who live with autism are able to make the most of their talents and participate fully in our society, and we celebrate the contributions autistic Americans have made to our families, our communities, our Nation, and the world.
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World Autism Awareness Day
Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year marks the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day.
Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. This year, we are committed to creating a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential.
Supporters can participate in World Autism Month by:
Everyone is encouraged to participate. Whether you have autism, love someone who does, or are looking to support a diverse, accepting and kind community youre invited to take the pledge to help create a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential.
On The Edge Of Gone By Corinne Duyvis
Thats the day the comet is scheduled to hitthe big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter near their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denises drug-addicted mother is going, theyll never reach the shelter in time.
Then a last-minute encounter leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship thats scheduled to leave Earth behind and colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But each passenger must have a practical skill to contribute. Denise is autistic and fears that shell never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?
When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
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Forever Neverland By Susan Adrian
What if Peter Pan wanted to take you to Neverland? Would you go?
A contemporary sequel to J. M. Barries timeless classic Peter Pan, perfect for kids who loved THE LAND OF STORIES and dream of going to Neverland.
Clover and Fergus are the great-great-grandchildren of Wendy Darling . And now Peter Pan wants to take them to Neverland for the adventure of their lives! But Clovers a little nervousshes supposed to look after her brother. Fergus is autistic, and not everyone makes him feel welcome. What will happen to him in this magical world?
Fergus isnt nervous at all. To him, Neverland seems like a dream come true! Hes tired of Clovers constant mothering and wants some independence, like Peter and the Lost Boys have. He wonders, Why cant the real world be more like Neverland?
Neverland is fun and free, but its also dangerous and even scary at times. There are unfamiliar creatures lurking in the shadows and strange sounds coming from the waters. And then the mermaids start to go missing. . . .
National Autism Awareness Month
Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. This year we want to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.
Lets embrace a new perspective. For over 50 years we have worked in communities to ensure our actions, through our services and programming, supported all individuals living with autism. Lets expand this work to focus on the rest of us ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.
Join us in celebration for 2016 National Autism Awareness Month! National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.
How is it celebrated?
What can I do?
- and distribute to schools, libraries and community centers in your neighborhood.
- to continue sharing ideas on how to make a better world for autism here.
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World Autism Acceptance Week
Thanks so much for visiting our World Autism Acceptance Week page. Next year’s fundraising campaign will take place from 27 March to 2 April 2023. We are busy making plans, but do add these dates to your diary if you are hoping to take part, especially if you work in a school with a busy events calendar or if you need to request permission from your place of work or a community venue.