April had to End, But Autism Awareness Does Not
By Tonia Ferguson
Director, Autism NOW Center
As we wrapped up Autism Awareness Month, I became even more aware of the strides that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) make in their lives every day with unbelievable success. Although it is great to have an entire month dedicated to the cause, autism will continue to affect the lives of families all year round. I want to challenge you to continue to advocate for awareness and education about ASD. The desire for answers does not begin and end with the month of April. With the numbers skyrocketing, the general public’s lack of awareness and access to resources highlight the importance of continuing to bring autism to the forefront of people’s minds.
That said, thank you to each of you who participated in our webinars this month. Thank you to each of you who shared your experience with autism. Thank you for Facebook comments and Tweets about events happening throughout the month and sharing videos and articles for others to see. Thank you for talking openly and honestly to those who have little to no experience with autism.
Most importantly, thank you for letting Autism NOW be the voice that reminds others why resources and information are so important. Autism Awareness Month has allowed us focus on the work and progress that we have made over the course of the last year and helped us look ahead to further strengthening our efforts to educate all people about challenges and issues that people with ASD face. Looking ahead, we know that there is a need for more resources on how to better access health care services, and a need for more research on best practices in providing services and supports for all people with ASD and other developmental disabilities and their families. We realized this month we can do more in these areas, and we will.
Autism Awareness Month was a time for celebration and raising awareness. However, these efforts should not be concentrated into one month but should continue throughout the year. We encourage each of you to join with us in continuing to educate others about ASD and to celebrate the successes of people with ASD in your life!
Tonia Ferguson is the Director of the Autism NOW Center.