April is Autism Awareness Month Spreading Awareness, Promoting Acceptance, and Igniting Change

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. In 2010, 1 in 125 children were diagnosed, whereas, in 2020, the CDC approximate 1 in 54 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

A photo of a hispanic family having a picnic at a park. Their young son has Autism
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April is Autism Awareness Month Spreading Awareness, Promoting Acceptance, and Igniting Change

A blue puzzle piece representing autism.

“Each April, we celebrate National Autism Awareness Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change.”
- Autism Society of America

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. In 2010, 1 in 125 children were diagnosed, whereas, in 2020, the CDC approximate 1 in 54 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

This year the theme is “Celebrate Differences.” Designed to build more awareness of the realities of autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive in everyday life.  

We hope to celebrate differences, debunk myths, and create a more inclusive world for everyone.

Common Autism Myths

Courtesy of Autism Speaks
Myth

People with autism don’t want friends.

Truth

If someone in your class has autism, they probably struggle with social skills, which may make it difficult to interact with peers. They might seem shy or unfriendly, but that’s just because he or she is unable to communicate their desire for relationships the same way you do.

Myth

People with autism can’t feel or express any emotion—happy or sad.

Truth

Autism doesn’t make an individual unable to feel the emotions you feel, it just makes the person communicate emotions (and perceive your expressions) in different ways.

Myth

People with autism can’t understand the emotions of others.

Truth

Autism often affects an individual’s ability to understand unspoken interpersonal communication, so someone with autism might not detect sadness based solely on one’s body language or sarcasm in one’s tone of voice. But, when emotions are communicated more directly, people with autism are much more likely to feel empathy and compassion for others.

Myth

People with autism are intellectually disabled.

Truth

Oftentimes, autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as challenges. Many people with autism have normal to high IQs and some may excel at math, music or another pursuit.

Myth

People with autism are just like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man.

Truth

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning its characteristics vary significantly from person to person. Knowing one person with autism means just that—knowing one person with autism. A person's capabilities and limitations are no indication of the capabilities and limitations of another person with autism. There is no one type of autism and each person has a unique set of needs.

Change and acceptance are happening, but we must become more aware of autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive in everyday life!

A blue ribbon representing autism. ​ 
Show your Autism support by wearing a blue ribbon.​

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