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8 Ways to Promote Autism Awareness This April

April 16, 2024

April is Autism Awareness Month, and it holds great significance in our journey to understand and support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). By dedicating this time to education and acceptance, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with autism.

Together, we can make a difference by empowering ourselves with knowledge, supporting research efforts, and ensuring that individuals with autism receive the understanding and care they deserve.

But, most importantly, make sure you spread the word about autism. Educate others and help build a more inclusive world for our loved ones on the spectrum. Here are some ways you can promote autism awareness this April.

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How You Can Promote Autism Awareness This April

1. Display the autism ribbon

Perhaps the most common symbol of Autism Awareness Month is the puzzle piece ribbon, often displaced as a pin, bumper sticker, or T-shirt. The ribbon was developed in 1999 and is now a symbol of autism awareness.

According to the creators, the puzzle pattern of the Autism Awareness Ribbon symbolizes the complex nature of the autism spectrum. Its various colors and shapes embody the diverse experiences of individuals and families navigating this condition.

The brightness of the ribbon signifies hope. This hope is grounded in the belief that awareness, early intervention, and access to suitable services and support will empower people with autism to live fulfilling lives and engage with the world on their own terms.

People often display the ribbon in hopes of sparking conversation about how autism affects them or a loved one. Many people are happy to answer questions about autism and help people gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with ASD.

2. Purchase autism awareness merchandise

Throughout the year, we buy gifts for family and friends: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and more. Why not use this opportunity to purchase gifts that will spark discussion while supporting autism awareness

The autism ribbon or puzzle piece can be found on various products, from wearables like jewelry or T-shirts to bumper stickers and gifts. Many online shops offer shoppers the opportunity to choose their preferred autism awareness non-profit organization to receive donations.

3. Have a conversation about autism awareness

Having a conversation about autism and how it affects you or your family can be an intimidating task. This conversation may come up as a response to a negative interaction or a misunderstanding surrounding ASD, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Having people over and talking about autism
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You may choose to invite a small group of people to your home to host an informal Q&A about autism. This can be an excellent opportunity for people to ask questions they may not have been previously comfortable asking.

4. Wear or gift autism awareness jewelry

A set of accessories featuring brightly colored pendants and multicolored puzzle pieces serves as a meaningful way to promote autism awareness year-round. These items can be worn individually or together, making them suitable gifts for those affected by autism.

This autism awareness pin features multicolored puzzle pieces and the text “Autism.” Its small 1” size is perfect for a lapel, cap, or lanyard. It is available as a single item or for bulk orders, so you can give it to people in your life who are just as excited as you to spread autism awareness.

Anyone affected by autism knows the importance of recognizing someone on the spectrum is different, not less. This sleek autism awareness bracelet is fashionable and a daily reminder of just that. It features the text “different, not less” and a small puzzle piece charm. The bracelet is adjustable, comes in silver, and is nickel-free.

These autism-awareness hair ties are not only functional but also excellent for those who find traditional elastics uncomfortable. They are no-tug, “ouchless,” and will not crease the hair. Each pack comes with three puzzle piece elastics: a light blue, a dark blue, and a red.

Silicone wristbands have been a popular option for creating awareness for many causes since the early 2000s. These bright blue bands feature puzzle pieces and read “autism awareness.” They are available in bulk to hand out at events this April or to your child’s classmates.

5. Join a community event

Many not-for-profits will be hosting events for Autism Awareness Month, such as walks, sensory-friendly films, donation drives, or seminars held at universities. Not only can these events provide a sense of community, but they can also bring awareness to resources available locally.

Becoming involved can be as easy as showing up the day of, but some families choose to help organize the events, volunteer as guest speakers, man booths, or donate supplies. Before you choose to donate, be sure the not-for-profit aligns with your goals for autism awareness and is fiscally transparent.


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6. Wear autism awareness shirts

Celebrate uniqueness and support autism awareness with a range of clothing options featuring symbolic designs. From playful characters to colorful puzzle pieces, these shirts come in various sizes and colors to cater to diverse preferences.

Wearing autism shirts is a great way to spread the message of acceptance and understanding through vibrant graphics and empowering slogans. Even the little ones can get involved in promoting autism awareness with cute autism onesies.

This simple vintage tee features four puzzle pieces in red, yellow, light blue, and dark blue. It is an understated way to show your support for autism awareness, but those who are familiar with the puzzle pieces will surely know what your shirt represents. The shirts come in five colors and are available in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes. They are 100% cotton and machine washable.

Even the littlest member of your family can help promote autism awareness this April. These sweet onesies, featuring the autism ribbon and the text “Autism Awareness,” come in four colors and sizes, 0-3 months to 18-24 months. They are made of 100% cotton jersey and are machine washable.

7. Buy autism awareness gifts

Families affected by autism know that the right teacher can make a world of difference in a child’s life. This stylish handmade necklace is the perfect gift for a teacher who has impacted your family’s life. The pendant is copper and stainless steel and will not tarnish. The necklace ships in a gift box.

This badge holder is an excellent gift for a professional seeking to spread autism awareness at work. The badge features an eye-catching design and text that reads, “I love someone with autism.” The cord is 24” long, and customers can choose their preferred clip style.

This fragrance diffuser allows you to bring the calming effects of aromatherapy to your car. It features a blue puzzle piece that filters essential oils on the go. The diffuser clips onto your car’s air vent and requires no batteries or power.

Many children with ASD work with a team of specialists who help them and their families live their lives to the fullest. These doctors and professionals deserve to be recognized during Autism Awareness Month. Gifting them a print with a text thanking them for helping your child is always a good idea. You can find these framed or unframed.

8. Contact your representatives

Your local and national representatives are elected to make sure your voice is heard. Calling, emailing, or meeting with your representative can be a highly effective way of ensuring they know autism awareness matters.

A woman using a laptop and a mobile phone
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It can be nerve-wracking to speak to an elected official. To make the most of your conversation, have a plan and be clear on what you want from your representative.

Do you want them to support a potential law being discussed? Do you want them to write or sponsor a bill? Do you want them to become more informed about autism? If possible, include your child in the conversation.

Never forget that your voice matters

No matter how you support autism awareness this April, your voice is important. Whether you choose to sport autism awareness merchandise or take a meeting with your representative, this month is the time to rally together to bring awareness to autism.

FAQs

Q: What to do for Autism Awareness Day?

A: For Autism Awareness Day, participate in events or activities that promote understanding and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum, and consider donating to organizations supporting autism research and advocacy efforts. 

Q: How do I host an autism awareness event?

A: To host an autism awareness event, collaborate with local autism organizations or experts to plan informative presentations and activities that promote understanding and acceptance of autism within your community. Utilize social media platforms and local outreach to spread the word and encourage participation, fostering an inclusive environment where individuals with autism and their families feel welcome and supported.

Q: How do you promote autism awareness in the workplace?

A: Promoting autism awareness in the workplace involves offering training sessions to educate employees about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fostering an inclusive environment that accommodates diverse communication styles and sensory needs.

For more information:

Cremin, K., Healy, O., Spirtos, M. et al. Autism Awareness Interventions for Children and Adolescents: a Scoping Review. J Dev Phys Disabil 33, 27–50 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-020-09741-1 

Tipton, L.A., Blacher, J. Brief Report: Autism Awareness: Views from a Campus Community. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 477–483 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1893-9 

Alsehemi, M. A., Abousaadeh, M. M., Sairafi, R. A., & Jan, M. M. (2017). Public awareness of autism spectrum disorder. Neurosciences, 22(3), 213-215. https://doi.org/10.17712/nsj.2017.3.20160525 

Evans, B. (2013). How autism became autism – The radical transformation of a central concept of child development in Britain. History of the Human Sciences, 26(3), 3-31. https://doi.org/10.1177/0952695113484320/10.1177/0952695113484320

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