April is Autism Awareness Month

autism-awareness-monthEvery day, the millions of Americans living with autism and their families face unique and daunting challenges that many of us will never fully appreciate. During National Autism Awareness Month, we make a commitment to better understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the lives of individuals living with it.

So you might be asking you self: Why is awareness so important? Well, It’s not news that people tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand. Awareness has the power to change people’s attitudes from “Ugh” to “is there anything I can do to help?” This is why parents, educators, family and friends of kids with autism use the month of April as a platform to share stories with their community. And why a month dedicated to Autism Awareness can be so important. Here are somethings you might consider this month get involved:

Get Informed: Autism is defined as a developmental disability characterized by varying degrees of social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. There are a lot of resources available to learn more about ASD. Educating yourself on the facts is invaluable to get a better understanding of  the challenges indivuduals and their families face. Learn more about ASD at the Autism Speaks website.

autism-awareness-ribbon-puzzle-lapel-pin-21Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is a recognized symbol of the autism community. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture. You can find merchandise via Autism Speaks for purchase and support their mission here.autism-awareness-rubber-bracelet-wristband-adult-8

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. It’s a good way to educate yourself and meet and get farmilar with people in your community that are living with Autism. Participating resteraunts around the country host a Dine Out with Autism event to educate community members and raise funds for the cause.

Donate your money or your time. Here are some online resources to help you donate your time or money to research and programs to support Autism. Autism Speaks a leading organization dedicated to research and support of families. You can donate here.

National Autism Awareness Month is an important month to consider learning more on this important issue. April 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.