April 3, 2024


General News

Moving Beyond Awareness

In recent years, Autism Awareness Month has shifted to Autism Acceptance Month to emphasize a focus on inclusion. As the prevalence of autism increases (1 in 36 children are diagnosed), the issue at hand is not a lack of awareness but a lack of acceptance in our communities.

Christopher Banks, CEO of The Autism Society of America, said it best: “Awareness is knowing that somebody has autism. Acceptance is when you include a person with autism in your activities.”

According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), the shift to the word “acceptance” was made to enable the autism community to change the conversation around autism, highlight the importance of having a sense of belonging, and creating a welcoming community for individuals with autism.

Here are some ways you can practice and promote autism acceptance:

  • Learn about autism through current research
  • Use preferred language (ex. person with autism vs. autistic person)
  • Recognize strengths of people with autism
  • Talk to your children about accepting and including individuals of all abilities
  • Plan activities that are inclusive to people with autism
  • Advocate for individual and parents