Stand Up for Autism Awareness and Acceptance!

By the Autism NOW Center Staff

Mom with her Child with a DisabilityThanks to advocacy efforts of autism groups, people across the United States celebrate National Autism Awareness Month every April. Last year, President Obama proclaimed every April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. The President called upon all people to learn more about autism and what they can do to support people who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families.

People with ASD face many unique challenges in communicating with others, maintaining and developing relationships, resolving sensory issues, and fully participating in our community. Since January 2011, Autism NOW, a national initiative of The Arc funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, has worked to help people with ASD and other developmental disabilities, their families, and the general public find information and resources about issues that are important to them – from learning the characteristics of ASDs and figuring out where you can go to receive a diagnosis to providing resources to people trying to determine how to communicate their end of life care. However, there is still more to be done to provide needed resources to people with ASD and their families and to inform the general public about ASD-related issues.

With the prevalence of ASDs increasing each year, it is critical that all people do their part to learn more about ASD and issues that impact people with ASD and their families. By reading and sharing information about ASD and developmental disabilities and about issues important to people with ASD and their families, you can help spread awareness and acceptance. You will become a part of a movement to provide people with the information to empower themselves to take charge of their lives!

What Can You Do?

  • Educate yourself on issues that are important to people with ASD and their families. Visit Autism NOW regularly to discover more about challenges that people with ASD and their families face, and join us for free weekly webinars on key topics in the ASD and developmental disability field!
  • Find a local resource or agency or local chapter of The Arc and get involved in your local community! Do you know of a local agency? Submit a Resource to Autism NOW to share this with others who may be looking for help in your area!
  • Consider attending The Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. in April. Each year, The Arc and other disability organizations spend two days educating attendees about current public policy issues that impact people with ASD and I/DD and their families.
  • Help us raise awareness about what’s important to the I/DD community and why. Help us get the word out about Autism NOW.
  • Connect with Autism NOW (Autism NOW on Facebook and Twitter) and The Arc (The Arc on Facebook and Twitter) via social media to discover new resources, blogs, and articles that provide information on current hot topics in the ASD and developmental disability fields. Follow us all month using the hashtag #AutismAware and look for fresh posts on our blog.
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