April 1st marks the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month! This means a whole world of opportunities is open for you to be an advocate for the autism community. Use these resources from the Autism Society to educate yourself and your community about what autism is and how you can celebrate National Autism Awareness Month.
Before you can get sharing, you need to educate yourself. Here is some information to help build your knowledge of autism. We encourage you to use these links as a jumping off point to the large pool of insight available.
What is Autism?
According to the Autism Society, autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability that affects one’s ability to interact or communicate with others. Because it affects individuals differently and in varying degrees, it is considered a “spectrum condition.” Read more on the Autism Society’s “What is Autism?” page.
Facts and Stats
This information, compiled by the Autism Society, is from multiple sources. You can view their Facts and Statistics page to see more.
- Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)
- More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
- Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)
- The U.S. cost of autism over the lifespan is about $2.4 million for a person with an intellectual disability, or $1.4 million for a person without intellectual disability. (Buescher et al., 2014)
- In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
Take a Course
The Autism Society offers a free online Autism 101 course to help you increase your knowledge of autism. The course take approximately 30 minutes and has a printable completion certificate at the end.
Where to Share
- Online: Your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram
- Newsletter: E-mail or physical mail
- In Your Office: Waiting area, Posters, Front Desk
- At Your Event: Sign up for social organizing through the Autism Society here.
What to Share
Share these resources with your community and clients so they, too, can celebrate National Autism Awareness Month!
- Find Local Affiliates: Use the map to find organizations in your area. Learn more about their events and share!
- Sensory Friendly Films: An activity as simple as going to the movies can be difficult for individuals living with autism. The traditional movie-going environment is not ideal. Sensory friendly films encourage viewers to get up, move around, shout, and sing during the movie. Find a participating AMC near you and share about upcoming sensory friendly films!
- Receive Autism Matters: Autism Matters is a newsletter by the Autism Society. Share information from the publication or the entire piece!
- Donate: Donations go toward the continued creation of information and resources for those with autism, parents, teachers, and advocates alike. Encourage friends, family, and community members to donate today!
- Shop: The Autism Society Store is packed with apparel, awareness items, and accessories, or “swag” as we like to call it. Each purchase helps further the mission of the Autism Society: “to improve the lives of all affected by autism.” Sport your favorite piece and direct others to the shop!
It’s not difficult to be an advocate. All it takes is a will to learn and a drive to share. We hope you embrace these resources from the Autism Society and raise your voice for all affected by autism!