April is National Autism Awareness Month: Learn How to Get Involved
In 1970, the Autism Society created a nationwide effort to promote the acceptance and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In 1972, they started their first ever Autism Awareness Week, which led to every April being named Autism Awareness Month. Every April, Autism advocate groups highlight the importance of Autism awareness and the promotion of acceptance and inclusion.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
According to the CDC, Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex developmental disability that can cause a broad range of social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The typical age of diagnosis are between the ages of eighteen months to two years old. Despite the early diagnosis age, ASD can be challenging to diagnose because no medical tests are utilized to get a diagnosis. Instead, experienced professionals must look at behavioral and developmental changes when giving a diagnosis. Additionally, many children on the spectrum do not receive a correct diagnosis until they are much older, resulting in a delay in getting the early help they need.
There is no one specific type of Autism, meaning that every individual on the spectrum has their own set of strengths and challenges. Since ASD is a spectrum disorder, many people require different levels of support in their daily lives. Some children with ASD may require special schools, such as The Deron School, that specialize in maximizing their academic, communication, behavior, and life skills. These schools work with parents and students with developmental disabilities whose needs cannot be met in their home school district.
How Support the Autism Community This Month
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, here are five ways to show your support for the Autism community:
Share Resources on Social Media
At the Deron School, we have compiled a list of resources for our parents and students with developmental disabilities. Amongst these resources are governmental agencies, organizations, and networks devoted to fundraising for ASD. Sharing these resources on social media is an excellent way to spread awareness.
Educate Yourself on Autism Spectrum Disorder
Taking the time to educate yourself on ASD is critical for being considered an ally to the Autism community. Often, uneducated people contribute to the stigma against people with developmental disabilities. Having a basic knowledge of ASD can help to promote acceptance and understanding.
Raise Awareness in Your Community
Raising awareness in your community is an excellent way to start spreading awareness on a small scale. Start by researching organizations near you and follow them on social media. By sharing their posts, more people in your community will be exposed to fundraising efforts, events, and important updates.
Participate in Autism Awareness Community Events
Once you gain a better understanding of what Autism Awareness groups are in your area, you can begin attending their events. Events include 5Ks, fun-walks, flag raisings, etc. By attending these events and posting about them on social media, more people will be informed of future events.
Contact Your Representatives
Reaching out to your state representatives is a great way to make your voice heard. Autism Advocate groups contact representatives for more government support of educational resources for this growing population of children.
Since 1967, The Deron School has offered a state-approved private school program for our students with developmental disabilities. Don’t hesitate to contact our leadership team with any admission inquiries.