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10 Ways to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month

March 26, 2024

April is Autism Awareness Month. Here are 10 easy, inexpensive suggestions for celebrating Autism Awareness Month that your child may be able to participate in.

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How You Can Promote Autism Awareness This April

1. Celebrate your teachers and therapists

During the month of April, you and your child with autism can help celebrate Autism Awareness Month by doing something special for the educators and therapists involved in your child’s life.

Simple gifts like a plate of homemade cookies, a thank-you note, or a homemade card from your child would be a wonderful way for you to thank your child’s teacher, speech therapist, school principal, occupational therapist, etc.

2. Celebrate with your child’s classmates

Your autistic child may interact with many other children during their school day. Most students who don’t have autism may have no idea that April is Autism Awareness Month. 

Imagine how excited they would be if you made arrangements with their teacher to celebrate this occasion by having your child bring cupcakes for all of them. Even something as simple as a class popcorn party can allow the other students in class to view your child as a “giver” and someone they can interact with.

3. Decorate bulletin boards

Decorating bulletin boards within the school is a great and inexpensive way to share information about autism with others. With the teacher’s permission, students in your child’s class can help decorate a bulletin board to celebrate Autism Awareness Month.

Art teachers within your school generally have excellent ideas for involving students in demonstrating their creativity. They can use those skills to display information about autism to engage and educate other students and staff members in the school.

Children doing art projects for autism awareness month
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4. Organize blue days

Some communities celebrate Autism Awareness Month by displaying blue lights. Homes and businesses will replace their regular light bulbs with blue ones, which is a wonderful way to actively involve the community in celebrating autism.

At school, Autism Awareness Month could be celebrated by placing blue lightbulbs in classroom lamps, covering classroom doors with blue construction paper for the month, and encouraging students to wear blue t-shirts on Fridays to celebrate autism.

5. Use the principal’s newsletter

Many school principals produce and distribute a weekly newsletter to parents. As a parent, you can work with your child’s school principal to include information about autism in the newsletter during the month of April.

This information could involve: 

  • a fact sheet about autism, 
  • tips for parents on what to do if they want to refer their child for an autism evaluation, 
  • an explanation from an autism parent about how parents can explain autism to their children
  • a weekly fun question about autism that parents can discuss with their child at home,
  • a letter from an older student discussing what it is like to have autism.

6. Show a movie about autism

Showing a movie is a great way for students or even your family members to learn more about autism. Teachers can show an autism-related movie to their students.

Parents can host a movie night in their homes. Your extended family members, friends, or neighbors could be invited to learn more about autism. There are many great movies to select from.

Some you might want to consider could include:

  • Temple Grandin
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Rain Man
  • The Horse Boy

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7. Involve adults with autism

Parents can assist teachers with locating adults in the community who have autism. These adults would make excellent speakers to have in your child’s classroom. Students will learn about the lives of autistic adults and how ASD has impacted them.

It can create a safe and comfortable environment for children to ask questions. Children will get an opportunity to see the contributions adults with autism can make to the community.

Teachers can work with the students in their classrooms to identify famous people with autism. Students can also discuss the contributions these autistic adults have made. 

Such individuals that could be studied could include:

  • Tim Burton
  • Susan Boyle
  • Temple Grandin
  • Michelangelo

8. Sponsor a contest

Consider approaching your school and asking teachers to participate in celebrating Autism Awareness Month. They could sponsor a school competition about “Random Acts of Kindness.”

Each student at the school could be given a puzzle piece, which is recognized as a symbol of autism. Students could put their names on their puzzle pieces and paint them blue.

Then, students can be encouraged to perform “Random Acts of Kindness” with people throughout the school. As an “Act of Kindness” is performed, the student can collect a puzzle piece from the person they are doing the kind act for.

At the end of the day, the students with the most puzzle pieces can be celebrated. The PTA could offer small prizes to these students. The principal could place the names of the winners in the school newsletter, or a “Random Act of Kindness” bulletin board could be developed in the school.

A happy boy during a school contest
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Students performing the most acts of kindness could have their names displayed, or classes demonstrating the most acts of kindness could be offered a movie party (that involves watching a movie about autism).

9. Encourage reading books about autism

Parents can encourage the school librarian to get involved in celebrating Autism Awareness Month. Librarians can display books about autism for students to select from.

Librarians can also volunteer to go to your child’s classroom and read a book about autism to your child’s class. There are many books dealing with autism or books featuring autistic characters that your school librarian could select.

Some examples are:

  • There’s Something Different About Dad – Kirsti Evans and John Swogger
  • Ian’s Walk – Laurie Lears and Karen Ritz
  • Andy and His Yellow Frisbee – Mary Thompson
  • Tobin Learns To Make Friends – Diane Murrell

10. Involve other parents

Parents of children with autism can become actively involved in their child’s school by joining the school PTA. As an active member of the PTA, you can remind them that April is Autism Awareness Month.

The PTA could sponsor an essay writing or poetry contest centered on an autism theme. They could work with the school physical education teacher to develop an activity day in the gym with games, activities, or even a “Walk For Autism Day”.

The PTA could also sponsor a bake sale. The money raised could be used to buy a piece of equipment for children in the autism classroom or for various fidgets or sensory devices for students with autism.

The importance of celebrating Autism Awareness Month

By celebrating Autism Awareness Month, we not only raise awareness about autism spectrum disorders but also promote acceptance, understanding, and support for individuals with autism and their families.

Through education, advocacy, and compassion, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society where individuals with autism can thrive and reach their fullest potential.

FAQs

Q: How do we celebrate Autism Awareness Month?

A: During Autism Awareness Month, we celebrate by raising awareness through educational events, campaigns, and initiatives to promote understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders. Additionally, we show support for individuals with autism and their families by participating in community activities and advocating for inclusion and accessibility.

Q: What color represents autism?

A: The color blue is commonly associated with autism awareness, symbolizing support, understanding, and acceptance for individuals on the autism spectrum. It serves as a visual reminder to promote advocacy and increase understanding of autism-related issues.

Q: What are autism symbols?

A: Autism symbols commonly include the puzzle piece, representing the complexity and mystery of autism spectrum disorders, and the color blue, symbolizing solidarity and support for individuals with autism and their families. These symbols are widely recognized and used to raise awareness and promote acceptance of autism within society.

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