Many of us think of April as a beautiful month with warm weather and rain showers, but for many families April has a much more significant meaning: it is home to Autism Awareness Month. Every year in April organizations and businesses show their support for Autism Awareness through events, campaigns, or donations. Why is awareness so important? Unfortunately, Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability and this affects us all. Of the 1 in 68 children in the US, ages 3-17 that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD), only 56% of them will graduate high school.
Below are some ways that you can contribute to raising awareness for the families affected, meet families impacted by Autism, or simply increase your knowledge of what it is and how it’s impacting lives.
If you are not already familiar with Jaden’s Voice, it’s a non-profit organization and community designed to be “your home for all things autism”. They work to support individuals diagnosed with Autism and their families. Terri Matthews, CEO and mom of Jaden (who was diagnosed with Autism when 2 and a half years old), founded the charity. The vision for Jaden’s Voice is to, “create a world that is aware of autism, provides accomodation and is inclusive to individuals living with the autism spectrum disorder.”
Visit their website for Autism resources, and learn how you can get involved.
If you are looking to learn more about Autism, as well as have a family day out, this is a great Autism Awareness event to attend. In addition to an Autism Resource Expo, there are many special features planned that day for the children including, shows, music, character appearances and more.
Event details: Sunday, April 12, 2015 | Time: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm | Note: Rain or Shine in Peacock Pavilion | Cost: $12.00 per person (Adults and Children 2 and above) | Zoo Parking is $15 if purchased in advance in addition to admission price
A good way to contribute to Autism Awareness is to wear a puzzle ribbon to show your support. The Greater Philadelphia Autism Society provides these symbolic ribbons to schools to help spread awareness. Countless schools are already taking part and if you nominate your school, every student and staff member will either receive a puzzle ribbon to wear this month or the materials needed to assemble the ribbons. Assembling the ribbons is a great service or vocational project.
AS likes to hear about awareness projects so schools are encouraged to send pictures or letters explaining how they’re working to spread awareness. The cool part? The stories received may be published in their newsletter!
Click here to nominate a school!
While exploring the museum’s exhibits there will be “hands-on and sensory filled excitement” for children and their families. You can also connect with other families impacted by Autism.
Event details: Saturday, April 18, 2015 | Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Location: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131 | Cost: $10.00 per person
Click here to get your tickets to the event!
Because it is becoming increasingly more common, Autism Awareness is crucial for families with young children especially. If you are contributing in a way this month to help spread Autism Awareness, or to help a family affected, let us know so that we can shout you out!
– #SSTeam: Krissy Sheehan
Instagram: @krissylei | Twitter: @kshee22 | Facebook: Krissy Sheehan Photography