April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to promote understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of people on the autism spectrum. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. However, it’s important to remember that every individual on the spectrum is unique, with their own strengths, challenges, and experiences.
As a parent of an autistic child, you may face many challenges, but you are also in a unique position to promote acceptance and understanding of autism. By celebrating your child’s individuality, supporting their needs, and educating others, you can help promote a world that is more inclusive and accepting of neurodiversity.
In this blog post, we’ll share some tips and activities that you can do with your autistic child to promote autism acceptance and celebrate their unique qualities. From sensory play to creative activities and self-care, there are many ways to promote understanding and inclusion of autism. So let’s get started!
What Organizations Hold Events for Autism Acceptance Month?
Many organizations hold events for Autism Acceptance Month, both locally and nationally. Here are a few examples:
- Autism Society of America: This organization holds various events throughout April, including webinars, virtual gatherings, and community events.
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN): ASAN hosts an annual Autism Acceptance Month gala, as well as other events, such as panels and workshops.
- National Autism Association: This organization holds a virtual walk event, where participants can raise funds and awareness for autism.
- Autism Speaks: While some members of the autism community have criticized this organization, it does hold events for Autism Acceptance Month, such as its Light It Up Blue campaign.
- Local organizations: Check with your local autism advocacy or support organizations to see what events they may be holding for Autism Acceptance Month.
Remember, there are many ways to get involved and promote autism acceptance, even if you are unable to attend events in person. Social media campaigns, fundraising, and simply spreading awareness and education are all important ways to make a positive impact during Autism Acceptance Month.
Activities You Can Do With Your Child for Autism Acceptance Month:
1 – Engage in creative activities: Encourage your child’s creativity by engaging in activities such as drawing, painting, or crafting. These activities can provide a sensory-rich experience and allow for self-expression.
2 – Make a sensory bin: Create a sensory bin filled with materials that your child enjoys, such as rice, beans, or sand. Add in different textures, scents, and colors to create a fun and engaging sensory experience.
3 – Build a sensory-friendly fort/tent: Build a sensory-friendly fort or tent using blankets, pillows, and other soft materials. This can provide a cozy and calming space for your child to relax and play.
4 – Play board games: Playing board games can be a fun way to promote social skills and communication. Look for games that are specifically designed for children with autism, or adapt traditional games to suit your child’s needs. Here are a few: Thinkfun Zingo Bingo, Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo!, Connect 4 Classic Grid Board Game, VATOS Board Magnetic Kids Game STEM Science.
5 – Create a sensory-friendly space: Many children with autism have sensory processing differences. Creating a sensory-friendly space in your home can help your child feel more comfortable and relaxed. You can add a sensory swing, beanbag chairs, a bubble tube, sensory lighting, weighted blankets, sensory toys, and fidgets.
6 – Read books about autism: Read books about autism with your child to help them understand more about autism and promote acceptance and understanding. Some great books to consider include “My Friend with Autism” by Beverly Bishop and “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome” by Kathy Hoopmann.
7 – Create a social story: Work with your child to create a social story that explains what autism is and how it affects them. This can help them feel more comfortable and confident in social situations.
8 – Spread awareness: Encourage your child to share information about autism with their friends and classmates. They can create posters or flyers, or give a presentation about what autism is and how it affects people.
9 – Encourage self-advocacy: Help your child learn to advocate for themselves by practicing self-expression and self-advocacy skills. This can help them build confidence and develop important life skills.
10 – Practice mindfulness: Encourage your child to practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
11 – Practice self-care: Encourage your child to practice self-care by engaging in activities such as taking a bath, getting a massage, or listening to calming music. These activities can help promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.
12 – Sensory-friendly outings: Plan outings that are sensory-friendly, such as visiting a quiet park or nature reserve, going to a sensory-friendly movie, or visiting a museum during a quieter time of day.
13 – Participate in virtual events: Look for virtual events and webinars that are specifically designed for children with autism. This can provide opportunities for your child to learn and connect with others in a safe and supportive environment.
14 – Participate in nature activities: Spending time in nature can be calming and therapeutic for children with autism. Plan activities such as hiking, birdwatching, or gardening to help your child connect with nature and promote sensory exploration
15 – Learn about famous people with autism: Research and learn about famous people who are on the autism spectrum, such as Temple Grandin or Dan Aykroyd. This can help your child feel inspired and empowered by their shared experiences.
Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. Listen to your child’s needs and interests, and adapt these activities to suit their individual needs and strengths. Celebrate their unique qualities and promote acceptance and understanding of autism.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post! I hope you found it informative and helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. I appreciate your input and will do my best to respond to all comments. If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please share this post with them! 🙂