While every day is Autism Awareness Day at Innovative Behavior Options, in the month of April (and specifically on April 2nd) the entire world is reminded to celebrate differences as we focus on increasing understanding and acceptance (and celebrating some of the incredible accomplishments) of people with autism. Autism Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to share support and kindness with the autism community.
So how can you get involved? From simply approaching life and others with a more inclusive and accepting worldview to advocating and sharing resources, we have some ideas we’d love to share!
What is Autism?
To celebrate accomplishments and spread awareness, the first step is to understand. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there’s a wide range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability with signs and symptoms usually emerging in early childhood. People with autism generally experience social, communication, and behavioral challenges.
Autism occurs across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. We see boys diagnosed with autism about four times more frequently than girls. In 2020, the prevalence of autism was estimated to have doubled since 2010, with autism likely effecting about 1 in 59 people.
Children with ASD generally begin to show subtle, early developmental differences with their peers in social and communication skills and often have behavioral challenges as babies and toddlers. Because these differences and delays don’t usually affect gross motor development, they can be harder to spot. Check out our blog on Early Signs of Autism to learn more about what to look for and why early intervention matters.
Spreading Awareness about Autism
Whether you or a family member has autism or you’re an ally and advocate for the community, there are so many ways to celebrate Autism Awareness Month! This month is a perfect time to familiarize yourself and those around you with the early signs of autism and the importance of early intervention.
If you’re looking to be a part of something big, Autism Speaks is encouraging people to “Light It Up Blue” on April 2nd for World Autism Awareness Day. You can join landmarks, buildings, and homes around the world who will be lit up in blue to increase autism awareness.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do this month to celebrate Autism Awareness, though, is to look for opportunities in your daily life and community to increase inclusion and express acceptance for people with autism.
At Innovative Behavior Options, we celebrate differences and accomplishments every single day, and we’re grateful to play a part in the success stories of our clients with autism!