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April is Autism Acceptance Month!

Updated: Jun 18

Autism Acceptance Month Logo

As a parent of a child with Autism, one of the things you wish for, is that they will be fully accepted in our society for who they are. You want them to get a job, support themselves and live life to the fullest. As a society we are on the right track to get there, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

We will have to do some work both personally and on a more national level to achieve this goal. I have looked at both and will share them here.

What can we do as individuals to increase awareness/acceptance?

It is not difficult, there are some simple easy things to do. Most of all, the autistic community just want to be included and accepted just as they are. Here is a list of simple easy things you can do, to show you care and want to be inclusive, and the list does not just apply to autistic, but to all with a disability:

  • Show respect and patience, even when they behave different than you expected

  • If you know their name, use it when you begin a conversation, so they know you are talking to them

  • Speak clearly, don’t use sarcasm or irony, because that is a concept that is difficult to grasp and understand. Try not to use to much non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions or hand gestures.

  • Try to find something that interest them, and you both enjoy, that you can do together or talk about. This will help them get a conversation going and you show them that you care about them.

  • Try to meet them in a calm quite environment, so that the surroundings don’t overwhelm them. Some people can easily be overstimulated in a busy environment, that can result in an increase in anxiety, and can cause a mental meltdown.

  • Speak up if you see others treat an autistic person badly! This one is very important, because the autistic person may not know he/she is being treated poorly.

How to increase awareness/acceptance in the community

We also need to work on this as a community, so that the autism community can navigate and feel safe. By including more autistics in the workspace, we will be able to increase the life quality and independence, that is so important for everyone. If you as a company wants to hire an autistic employee and does not quite know where to begin/what is required, to make this a success for both the employee and employer, reach out to an organization, such as The Autism Society. They will be able to guide and support both during the hiring process and employment.

What can be done on a national level?

There is a lot of organizations that works tirelessly to improve all aspects of life for the autistic population. A few of these Non-profits include;

The oldest and largest grassroot Autism organization. They work hard to empower everyone in the Autism community with resources so they will be able to live life to the fullest. Their goal is to influence meaningful change in support of the Autism community. The Autism Society thrives to support everyone with autism and their family, including advocacy efforts, education, and support and services throughout the lifespan.

A fairly new non-profit, but very powerful Autism science and advocacy organization. They work hard to increase the awareness and acceptance of Autism, both globally and nationally, by influencing policies at state and federal levels. Autism Speaks is dedicated to do advance researching in Autism and related conditions, improve quality of life for individuals with autism, and early diagnosing in children before the age of 2.

If you are interested in learning more about the two organizations, please go to their websites (The Autism Society, Autism Speaks), there is a lot of good information to read.

Written by

Carina Gregersen, guest writer



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