World Autism Month is kicked off every year by World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. During this month, supporters are reminded to spread the message of inclusivity and educate others and themselves on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many resources are shared during World Autism Month that can help you become an advocate within your community and to increase awareness and understanding of autism.
How Spreading Awareness for Autism Can Help
Autism awareness and acceptance should extend beyond this one month out of the year. The more people know about autism, the more acceptance and inclusion there will be, and the better the odds are for early diagnosis.
Diagnosing autism early can improve the quality of life for the child, parents, and caregivers. There are several ways to support autism awareness throughout the year to be an advocate and a voice to help people with autism reach their full potential.
ASD is extremely common, impacting as many as one out of every 44 children in the United States. One of the best ways to show their support for people with autism is to understand more about it. There are many educational programs, research, and resources with information about autism. Supporting autism starts with more knowledge and information on what it is — and what it is not. Once you have a better understanding, you can share this information with others to spread the word.
Autism research is ongoing, and the better understanding there is, the more evidence-based treatment methods can be found and applied. There are several methods of donating to help support autism research and support. The gift of time is one way, for example. Donating your time to support autism can help to spread the word and increase awareness.
There are also several autism support charities and nonprofits that you can offer a tax-deductible donation to support research, advocacy, education, and awareness, and to directly help families with autism, including:
Many national organizations supporting autism also have local chapters, and there are often local or community organizations providing autism support. These organizations can often use tangible items or monetary donations as well. Contact them directly to find out what will be most helpful.
Attend or Host an Autism Event
There are a variety of organizations, groups, and local chapters of national organizations that host autism events such as talks, educational opportunities, and fundraising charity walks. Attending these events can help foster autism awareness. You can also sign up to volunteer at one of these events or even host one yourself. This can be a small community talk or a larger event with the help of a nonprofit organization. Be sure to research the organization and event ahead of time to know what to expect and be clear on the goals.
Be an Advocate
Spreading awareness starts with understanding. It is important to be a positive role model and an advocate for autism understanding and inclusivity. Ensure that people with autism are treated with respect and welcomed. Stand up for people and families with autism. Make accommodations for people with autism to help make them more successful and feel more included.
If you have a family member with autism, sharing your experiences can help foster awareness. Share your story with others. You can host small sessions with members of your community, post your story on social media, or sign up to be a guest speaker at an autism awareness event.
Contact Local and National Representatives
Elected representatives can help get your voice heard, and making them more informed about autism can aid in promoting legislation and potential laws supporting people with autism. Contact your local or national representatives by mail, email, or phone, or schedule an in-person meeting. Be clear about your goals and what you are asking of them. Your voice matters.
Use Social Media
Social media can be a powerful tool and resource for raising awareness for causes such as autism. As a parent of a child with autism, you can use social media to share your story and discuss upcoming autism awareness events. You can also post links to blogs, research, and information on autism. Promoting autism awareness often starts with understanding and showing and telling others what you are experiencing firsthand.
Create a Fundraising Page
Another method to help raise money for autism awareness and support autism research is to use social media or fundraising pages. You should connect this with a legitimate and well-known charity, nonprofit, or reputable organization that supports autism and where the money will go straight to supporting families and people with autism.
Autism Speaks World Autism Month. (2022). Autism Speaks, Inc.
Clinical Impact of Early Diagnosis of Autism on the Prognosis and Parent-Child Relationships. (August 2017). Psychology Research and Behavior Management.
Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder. (March 2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Your Gift. (2022). Autism Speaks, Inc.
Donate. (2020). Autism Society.
How You Can Promote Autism Awareness Month This April. (November 2021). Autism Parenting Magazine.