Autism Awareness Month
EDUCATE * ADVOCATE * UNDERSTAND
We hope you choose to take time to educate yourself and others about autism and the issues facing families.
Information is the key to understanding - the beginning of any problem-solving.
Activities in April:
HELP Raise $$$!
Participate in local fund raising efforts to benefit families in your community - there may be several in your area, or you might be the first to start one in your community! There are several local and national autism groups.
ATTEND COMMUNITY EVENTS: Many autism organizations have activities planned, and involvement from the community is crucial!
CREATE COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Create an Autism Awareness Display in your local library, church, school, or community center with information about autism, local support groups, books, etc.
JOIN an AUTISM GROUP: There are several national autism organizations, and there are quite a few local support groups and autism organizations in Missouri.
GET ACTIVE: Write a personal letter or make a personal visit to your legislators to express how important autism issues are to your family.
IDEAS from TACA website
IN THE COMMUNITY:
Contact your local library, church or community center to see if they will let you create an autism awareness display that can include information about autism, local support groups, books, etc. Reference autism facts.
Reach out to your local video store and see if they will create a movie display featuring movies like Rainman, Molly, etc. While Hollywood may not always get autism right, this is a great way to begin getting people more aware.
Set up meetings to talk with your Parent Teacher Association, police department and fire department. TACA can provide you with and educational presentation and handouts. Please contact Roxanne Hall for more information.
Educate pediatricians in your community about the early signs of autism. Early intervention and diagnosis is key to a positive outcome. Some wonderful tools are available at:
TACA’s poster project
AutismNDI’s poster project
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early campaign
Write to your local and state legislators. Tell your personal story and describe the need for government support of scientific research, medical treatments and educational resources for this growing population of children. Request proclamations that designate April as Autism Awareness month.
Contact your local media. Neighborhood newspapers often feature human interest stories, so tell your story and share the facts about why autism is important to all of us.
Help children learn more about autism:
Create a buddy program in your school where typical students befriend a child with autism. These groups could be during lunch, recess or after school social clubs.
If your child has a neurotypical sibling, visit their school in April and read a children’s book on autism to the class. Some suggestions include:
Andy and his Yellow Frisbee – by Mary Thompson
I love my brother!! By Connor Sullivan (A preschooler's view on an older ASD brother)
Ian’s Walk – by Laurie Lears
A non-autism book but for all disabilities is What's Wrong with Timmy? by Maria Shriver
Make Autism Awareness Ribbons. These ribbons are very simple to make. You can buy the puzzle pieces ribbon from a local craft store, glue the ribbons and the pin backing. These can be passed out to family and friends to wear in the month of April or all the time.
Wear autism awareness merchandise, from t-shirts to pins to bracelets and bands. Show your support with car bumper stickers or magnets. Merchandise can be purchased online.
Plan an event to raise both awareness and funds: an autism awareness night at a local restaurant, a lemonade stand or bake sale, dress-down days at work or schools… be creative!
Send an Autism Awareness Month e-cardfrom www.123greetings.com (free) or www.bluemountain.com (free trial membership available). Search “autism” at the prompt.
In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, ASA has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
From the Autism Society of America website:
April 2 World Autism Awareness Day
April 3 Missouri Autism Rally at Capitol
AUTISM AWARENESS RALLY at MISSOURI STATE CAPITOL