Autism Acceptance Month

The Autism Society of America is the nation’s oldest leading autism organization. Founded in 1965 by Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Ruth Sullivan and many other parents of children with autism, the autism society strives to provide support, resources, referrals, education and advocacy so that individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life.  In 1970, the Autism Society launched an ongoing nationwide effort to promote autism awareness.  It was then in 1972 that the Autism Society initiated the first annual National Autistic Children’s week – which then evolved into Autism Awareness Month

On March 4, 2021, the Autism Society of America announced the formal shift from referencing the month of April as “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month”.  The work of spreading awareness about autism will always be on the fore-front, but this year the focus will also be on that one of the biggest barriers to developing a strong support system is often acceptance.

This April we join the Autism Society and other supporters to help bring awareness and acceptance of those living with autism.

What is Autism?

A developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges is often the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Those diagnosed with ASD might repeat certain behaviors, struggle with change in their daily activities and have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its ADDM autism prevalence report that concluded the prevalence of autism has risen to 1 in every 59.  ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and currently, boys are also approximately 4.5 times more likely to have an autism diagnosis that girls of similar age.

“The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box.  They’ll make what they need.  They’ll make their own boxes.” ~Dr. Temple Grandin

The Autism Awareness Ribbon

Have you seen the ribbon with the puzzle pieces? In 1999, the puzzle ribbon became the universal sign of autism awareness.  The puzzle pattern reflects the complexity of the autism spectrum, the different colors and shapes represent the diversity of the individuals and families living with autism, the brightness of the ribbon signals hope — hope that through increased awareness of autism, through early intervention and access to appropriate services/supports, people with autism will be able to lead full lives and interact with the world on the own terms.

What you can do:

Keep current with local and national autism related news – knowledge is power!

Take action.

Attend a Virtual Event.

Promote acceptance.

Us the hashtag #IAmMe – empower individuals with autism by highlighting their strengths.

Ignite change.

Additional Resources:

Maine Chapter –

Post written by Emily Cornforth, Aspire Clinical Director

1 thought on “Autism Acceptance Month”

  1. Very nice I love Temple Grandin!

    Jane Greenblatt RN BSN | President, Program Development & Marketing
    Home Hope and Healing | Aspire Behavioral Health & Counseling
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