This is Autism Awareness Month, during which we all come together to learn more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how to support those affected. ASD affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S., making it more common than childhood cancer. But there is still so much unknown about this condition, which is why it’s important for us to continue raising awareness and funds for research. If you’re looking for ways to get involved this month, keep reading…
Aaliyah’s Shocking News
Aaliyah was shocked. Her sweet, loving 4-year-old daughter had just been diagnosed with ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder.
With her emotions in turmoil, her head exploding with endless questions, her heart in tatters, panic overwhelmed her. Trying not to crumble into a million pieces in front of her little girl, she zeroed in on one powerful thought,
Approximately one in every sixty-eight children is diagnosed as autistic in the U.S., according to a 2014 C.D.C report. To say that the lives of these children, their parents and caregivers changes completely is an understatement.
Autism doesn’t come alone to the party. It has friends. Think social problems, behavioral challenges and critically significant communication issues. But, like with a lot of tough things in life, kids with ASD can not only survive, but thrive with the right support from their families, doctors, friends and their community at large.
Children are amazingly resilient.
Why We Love Autism Awareness Month?
April is Autism Awareness Month, and we couldn’t be more excited! This is a time when we can come together to celebrate the amazing autistic community and raise awareness about this important issue. There are many reasons why we love autism awareness month.
Celebrate the Autistic Community!
First, it is a chance to celebrate the incredible diversity of the autistic community. We are all unique individuals with our own strengths and abilities, and this month is about celebrating that.
Educate Others About Autism
Second, it is a chance to educate others about autism and help break down the stigma that still exists around this condition. Too often, people are afraid or misunderstand autism, but education can help change that.
Build Stronger Relationships
Finally, it is simply a great time to connect with other autistic people and build stronger relationships within our community
Autism Awareness Month April 2022
April 2nd is celebrated as World Autism Awareness Day, with April being the month of choice to raise money and resources; spread awareness and teach kids, teachers and caregivers the importance of autism, and the life-altering issues faced by kids with ASD through engaging autism awareness activities.
These also help to smash silly myths and bash typical stereotypes.
Activities like families of autistic children sharing powerful, inspiring stories about their beautiful, different children is a great idea for educating, and at the same time, building a strong support network.
What are the Benefits of Autism Awareness Month?
Autism awareness month is an important time to educate people about autism and dispel common myths about the condition. Autism spectrum disorder affects around 1 in 54 children in the United States, and early diagnosis and intervention can make a huge difference in a child’s development. Many people are not aware of the signs of autism, which can delay diagnosis and access to vital services.
Autism Awareness Month Helps to Raise Awareness
Autism awareness month helps to raise awareness of the condition and encourage people to learn more about it. It is also a time to celebrate the unique talents and perspectives of people with autism. We hope that by sharing information about autism, we can help more people to understand and accept those with the condition.
Why is teaching kids and raising awareness so important?
Kids don’t come with a manual. Parenting is hard enough without throwing autism into the mix. Young children with ASD think uniquely, behave differently and learn in their own precious style.
To understand their sheer magnificence, to establish them as pioneering, well-adjusted members of your community, and to give them their best chance possible, every one of us has to be an inflexible advocate of autism awareness.
Understanding an Autistic Person – 4 Wonderful Traits
- They’re curious
- Their hearts have a lot of compassion
- They’re honest
Promoting autism awareness for a day, week or month for this massively challenging disability spreads ONE significant message – different, but definitely not less.
Awareness. Acceptance. Love.
Autism affects lives in a tremendous manner. The number of autistic kids as well adults is in the millions. And this data is increasing with an alarming ferocity. Perhaps that’s why autism has been deemed as one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities across the planet.
Studies reveal that early signs of autism can be gleaned in a baby as old as two months. In fact, research shows, autism therapies work best when initiated early on in a baby’s life.
So, the earlier you know, the earlier the right therapy and treatment can be started off to stave off developmental delays, polish your child’s verbal and intellectual abilities, and give her the best chance of the best life possible.
Let’s all join hands, spread love, raise funds, pull out helpful resources and boost awareness with kindness, compassion and wisdom for people living with autism.
Learn More Below
Autism Awareness Month Activities
Autism can be truly magnificent. You may already know; many don’t.
To promote autism awareness about this life-altering disability, we have charted out more than 35 thought-provoking, wholesome and cool kid activities to boost support, enhance acceptance, and increase awareness while having oodles of fun in the process.
From downloading (free) interactive worksheets, to life-saving skills like swimming, to hacking at frozen toys, to exciting autism activities (with and) for adults, such as a family hiking trip, to baking edible puzzles – we have something for everyone in this article.
And here’s your motto for this month: Purposeful, well-intentioned FUN!
So, let’s spark off enormous waves of empathy for these uniquely wonderful, creative souls with well-rounded, high-on-joy autism awareness activities.
Celebrate your child’s unique wonder with an autism walk. Get support from family, friends and neighbors.
- Form a team and start walking!
- Awareness bashes common misconceptions and stereotypes. Walk for autism and slay misleading myths.
- You can even help raise money for this great cause, especially to facilitate awareness and autism research programs.
- World’s top organizations for autism advocacy have strategies in place for walks across many countries.
- Find one in your area. And walk!
Pro Tip – Take a virtual walk online if an outdoorsy walk is not on the agenda. There are excellent simulation videos online that depict the sensory overload an autistic person feels when walking down a road.
Organize an Anti-Bullying Campaign
Are you a teacher with a classroom of smart students? Maybe you’re an autistic child guardian as well. Get your students in tow and organize an anti-bullying campaign for kids on the spectrum. Autistic kids often face a harsh time in school. Kids may call out on their unique abilities, their communication and language skills, and make fun of their social interaction challenges.
A no-bullying campaign will raise awareness, promote the beauty and sweetness of autistic kids and foster empathy in everyone.
Cool Ideas for Your Anti-Bullying Campaign:
- Start with a campaign topic (No-Bullying for Special Needs Children).
- Do research and get your students involved in it as well. Pick a good leader, discuss goals and form a POA – Plan of Action.
- Get on social media.
- Discuss your POA with the parents of your class too.
- Have them join in the bullying prevention campaign.
- Give an educational pep talk to your students.
- Talk about how to stand by their autistic friends and peers who need their love and support.
- Get students to draw or paint something relevant, like how to be better friends with ASD kids.
- Distribute free resources with authentic information, like educational worksheets, and play interactive games.
- Include fun activities like school surveys, and staff interviews.
- Set up an anti-bullying prevention table for pledges in a popular school area, like the cafeteria, and collect maximum pledges.
- Fundraising ideas.
- A great, feel-good, meaningful goal for this anti-autism-bullying campaign for children can be raising funds for autistic charities, or for students on the spectrum who need it.
- Be friendly lunch buddies.
- Get volunteers for being lunch-pals for students with ASD.
Sensory Issues in Kids with Autism
Sensory issues are common in kids with autism. In fact, according to the Autism Society, about 1 in 3 individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have sensory issues. These can include hypersensitivity to certain sounds, textures, or smells; difficulty processing information from the senses; and seeking out certain sensory input (such as spinning or hand-flapping).
Sensory issues can make everyday activities challenging and can be a source of stress for both kids and their families. However, there are ways to manage sensory issues and help make life more manageable. For example, many people with ASD find relief through occupational therapy, which can help them learn how to cope with Sensory Processing Disorder.
Your autistic child is super sensitive to sensory signals, such as loud noises, different tastes and textures, overpowering smells etc. Too much sensory stress causes sensory overwhelm, and ultimately leads to a meltdown (especially due to triggers outside the safe haven of your home).
Or perhaps, your sweet child may completely shut down, or start rocking back and forth.
Autism Toys and Sensory Tools
You can use awesome sensory play toys and tools that make autism spectrum kids relax, calm down, get creative, enhance coordination, promote social learning and maybe, most importantly, give them heart-melting smiles.
These fantastic tools also boost creative capabilities because research shows that regular sensory play sessions form new neural pathways in the brain.
There are tons of fun, cool, sensory play toys and activities you can enjoy with your little ones at home. Some won’t even cost you a penny, but could end up forming lasting memories for your child – the precious kind.
1. Create Scented Playdough
What child doesn’t love play-doh? Even adults do! Just get a big pot of clay, divide it into small bowls and add different smells and colors.
- Vanilla essence in pink dough, cinnamon in brown, lemon in yellow etc.
- Jello finger paints, edible chocolate dough, edible colorful baked dough etc.
2. Car Wash Game!
Get a bucket of water, colorful soaps and sponges, and some plastic cars. Then start washing!
Engage the whole family. Gently let your child on the autism spectrum take the lead. Follow along and share the glee.
3. Sensory toys
Sensory play tools come jam-packed with benefits. Let’s talk about one of the most important ones – acceptance. When non-ASD children play with the same toys as those on the spectrum, the toys gain an additional layer of significance.
Autistic kids feel accepted and part of the ‘group’ as they view those toys as part of other children’s regular toy collection.
- Chewing toys
- Sensory mats
- Kinetic sand sensory bin
- Fidget toys
Pro Tip – You can even go for a monthly subscription box for little ones with ASD which includes many engaging, and brain-stimulating toys and activities.
Google for one in your area!
4. Frozen toys
Okay, this is seriously fun! Get a large plastic box (should fit in your freezer). Dump water and some plastic toys, or any freezer-safe toys. Add more water and toys when the first layer freezes up. Fill it up to the brim.
Next day, remove the giant icy-toy block and let your amazing children hack away at it with toy hammers or spray bottles with warm-ish water to get the toys out.
5. The footprint (and even handprint!) painting game
Get a paper (a big one), and some bright, non-toxic paints. Also, grab towels and a bucket of water to clean up little hands and feet. Then just go wild with your imagination – draw anything. Tiny feet can be petals to a big circle, and tiny hands can be leaves. On world autism awareness day, you can also do a blue themed painting. Think a sky with fluffy clouds? Blue flowers? It all works fine.
6. Sensory Sack
Need a quick strategy for calming down your child? Get the Transformer Sensory Sack. It’s a step-inside-and-stretch type of sack which envelops a child in a soothing, relaxing deep pressure that forms a welcome compression around their tiny body. Think of it as a warm, comfortably tight, sensory-soothing hug.
Kids can simply go inside and crawl or stretch or roll or do whatever their hearts need at that moment for complete relaxation. It’s portable too.
Read Good Books on Autism
Autism spectrum disorders are myriad with different facets in different individuals. Books are a wonderful and highly effective means of celebrating the ASD month and promoting autism awareness. Children love bright, colorful picture books with fascinating stories.
Just hop on Amazon and have your pick from the scores of bestsellers talking about this neurodiversity with tact, sensitivity and charming playfulness.
Encourage questions and talk about empathy.
There are books for all age groups. Pick what you like and read it with your child. Make it a fun family activity and act out the funny bits. Listen to precious giggles and let your heart rejoice.
Pro Tip – Buy autism awareness storybooks with empathetic messages about autism, and friendships with ASD mates, and donate it to your child’s school library.
Blue is the color of choice for the World Autism Day & Month celebration.
From ‘light it up blue’ campaigns, where iconic buildings, landmarks and homes are all dressed up to the nines in pretty blue lights, to blue-themed fundraisers, events, blue ribbons and banners, and all matters of paraphernalia.
Wearing blue is one of the educational activities that shine a light on autism spectrum disorders.
Unleash your creativity and design a blue-themed tee with your autistic little guy. Or grab blue paints and design a blue banner with your uniquely-abled daughter.
“So, why does everyone go blue today?”
That’s a great question to kickstart an interesting, informative conversation about autism with young kids.
You can always rope them in to do a number of autism awareness month activities any other day, but for April 2nd – the autism awareness day, a simple, thought-provoking discussion could suffice; specially if going outside for elaborate autism activities is not on the to-do list.
What are the Benefits of Swimming for Autism?
Swimming is a great form of exercise for people of all abilities, and that includes those on the autism spectrum. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, here are some of the benefits of swimming for individuals with autism:
- Swimming can help to improve flexibility and range of motion.
- It’s also a great way to build strength and endurance.
- And because it’s a low-impact activity, it’s gentle on the joints.
- All of these physical benefits can help to improve quality of life for individuals with autism.
- In addition, swimming can also be a great way to socialize and make new friends.
- Because it takes place in a group setting, it can provide opportunities for social interaction that might
Swimming for Everyone With Autism
Don’t want to stay in? Wear blue and go swimming! Swimming comes packed to the brim with amazing benefits, especially for kids on the spectrum. Let’s unpack that in a bit. The most important factor about teaching swimming as one of the core autistic activities is the serious risk of accidental drowning. That’s the top-priority critically significant facet of it.
And now, for the fun bits!
Swimming is a beautiful, joyous activity for little ones as it enhances coordination, speech skills and confidence; acts as an effective social interaction tool and works on their cognitive processes. The pressure of the water and the cool, comfortable, pleasing sensations it brings with it are a welcome respite for people living on the spectrum.
So, celebrate the month of autism spectrum disorders by taking all your offspring for a memorable swimming lesson.
Why Puzzles Are Important to Kids with Autism?
April is Autism Awareness Month, and what better way to show your support than by puttings together a puzzle with your child? Puzzles are not only a fun activity for kids of all ages, but they can also be beneficial for children with autism. For autistic children puzzles has many benefits like the ones below.
- Puzzles Can Help Improve Fine Motor Skills
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Puzzles Can Help Develop Problem-Solving Skills
- Basic Logic
- Concentration and Focus
- They Can Also Help Autistic Children to Stay Calm and Focused.
So this April, show your support for autism awareness by putting together a puzzle with your child. Who knows, you might just have a blast in the process!
Let’s get puzzled!
Puzzles are a fantastic way of improving memory and encouraging sensory play at the same time. They help in early child development as well as improve visual-spatial reasoning.
For autistic kids, it means building their attention spans, and teaching them requisite thinking skills, and important life skills like being persevere and patient.
In fact, puzzles are also at times considered a symbol of autism.
Creative Puzzle Ideas
- Get a personalized jigsaw puzzle to make it even more interesting!
- Upcycle old puzzle pieces by painting them and designing a cool craft such as a puzzle piece necklace.
- Make Puzzle Piece Treats with Rice Krispies. Hop on Pinterest for some crazy cool recipe ideas.
- Cooking generally involves a lot of sensory play so there’s additional benefits as well in cooking or baking with the kids.
- Make jigsaw puzzles out of chocolate!
More Enjoyable Autism Awareness Activities
1. Go surfing, hiking or trekking.
If the sun is warm and the weather soothing, pack up your kids in the right safety gear and hit the trails (or the waves!) for a family adventure.
2. Play with Legos.
Stacking and building gets the ASD kids creatively going.
3. Learn about trains.
Do train-spotting which is a fantastic way of learning history. Visit a train museum, or build a model.
4. Host your own fundraiser.
One of the simple yet effective fundraising ideas for little ones is having a lemonade sale for autism awareness day.
5. Create a stunning handmade gift
Which kid wouldn’t love tearing and ripping apart colorful paper into shreds?!
6. Download FREE printables
Playful yet informative, these worksheets talk about autism in the most kid-friendly way possible.
April is Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month, a time when we shine a spotlight on this neurological condition that affects so many people around the world. autism awareness month 2022 will be especially important, as it marks 10 years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This treaty enshrines the rights of all people with disabilities, including those with autism, and calls on ratifying states to take measures to ensure their full and equal enjoyment of those rights. In the lead up to autism awareness month april 2022, let’s redouble our efforts to spread understanding and acceptance of autism, and work together to create a more inclusive society for everyone.
Autism can be harrowing for your child, but when dealt with correctly, it can bring out the dazzling personality hiding in their tiny body like the warmth of the sun after a grey day.
Autistic children are brilliant, incredibly courageous and awe-inspiringly sweet – just like other kids. All your precious little person needs is tons of love and the right treatment. So, explore new possibilities. And never give up! Take care of yourself, and your child.
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