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  • Celebrating National Autism Awareness Month

    Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), describes a host of conditions that are generally characterized by challenges with speech and nonverbal communication, social skills, and repetitive behaviors. According to the CDC, autism affects roughly 1 in 44 children in the United States today. Autism also affects individuals from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

    Although more people know about autism than at any other time in history, it is important to continue spreading awareness. That is why April has officially been declared National Autism Awareness Month.

    The first National Autism Awareness Month was declared back in 1970 by the Autism Society with the aim of educating the public about autism. A more autism-informed public will generally be more supportive and empathetic toward those with autism and their families.

    What Can You Do to Lend Your Support This April?

    Here are some ways we can help spread autism awareness and celebrate National Autism Awareness Month: 

    Educate Yourself 

    Raising awareness begins with education and understanding. If you are looking to start here, check out the excellent articles about ASD from credible sources like the National Institute of Mental Health and the CDC, linked below! Another way to learn more is to listen to the experiences of people with ASD. Technologies like YouTube and Podcasts are providing a platform for people to share information and their experiences to get an even better understanding about living with Autism. 

    Post on Social Media

    Social media can be a useful tool to spark awareness and share information. Growth & Wellness will be sharing information on ASD all month long on Facebook and Instagram that can be shared to easily spread accurate information. 

    Be an Advocate

    Ensure those around you feel welcomed, valued, and respected. Be the person who helps create an inclusive environment. Stand up for others and do not allow others to talk negatively or put others down. Ask others what they need to be successful and create a flow that can meet those needs. 

    Get Involved 

    While there are some legal protections and services for people with ASD,we don’t feel it is enough. Every voice counts when contacting the nation’s leaders. Call or write your state representatives, local legislators, or other leaders to let them know mental health services and protections matter. Vote in local and national elections to put leaders in office who will help promote policies that will help people have access to services, insurance, and research. 


    Another great way to support people living with autism is by donating to organizations that directly fund research about autism and provide autism-centric services. The Autism Alliance of Michigan is always happy to receive donations so they may raise expectations and expand opportunities for people touched by autism.

    Autism can make life challenging, both for those living with the condition and for those who love them. Spreading awareness helps communities understand those challenges and overall leads to better support for those living with autism. 

    If you or a loved one are finding it difficult to navigate managing (or getting!) a diagnosis, reach out. We are here to help.