Autism Acceptance Month

The month of April is Autism Acceptance Month, when the CDC and the Autism Society of America invite us to honor and celebrate the differences that exist in each individual who has autism. 

Dr. Stephen Shore, an autistic professor of special education at Adelphi University said, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” 
Stuart Duncan, an advocate whose son is autistic posted on Twitter: “Autism is one word attempting to describe millions of different stories.” Every child with autism has unique strengths and challenges, and inclusive early childhood educators need to intentionally individualize for each child’s unique needs and strengths.

In the past, April was known as Autism Awareness Month, but in recent years, there has been an intentional shift to instead recognize Autism Acceptance Month. The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) first advocated for this shift in language in 2011 and more organizations have followed their lead to advocate not just for awareness of autism, but for intentionally accepting and celebrating the neurodiversity that exists within people with autism.

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States have autism. This means if you are an early childhood educator, you are likely to have at least one child with autism in your care every 2-3 years. IMPACT’s Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder course is a great way to increase your knowledge and skills during Autism Acceptance Month. 

This course offers an opportunity to have clinical knowledge about autism translated in a way that’s useful for early childhood educators. If you’re interested in learning more about supporting children with autism in your program, this course will take you on an in-depth exploration of what autism is and how to recognize signs and characteristics in young children. You’ll leave with real-world classroom examples and ideas to take with you into your own work. You’ll also learn about neurodiversity and how we can shift our mindset from one that is stigmatizing to one that is empowering and accepting of individuals who are neurodivergent.

If you’re already familiar with autism and want to support the development of language and communication with children you work with, check out IMPACT’s other course, Autism Spectrum Disorder: Language & Communication Strategies. This course will expand your knowledge of practical strategies to help children with autism build their vocabulary, help you decide what words to teach first, and how to use song as a tool for language learning. You’ll also learn how to implement visual strategies like sign language, visual schedules, and First/Then schedules in a way that will support the unique way children with autism process language.

And, just for the month of April, take advantage of our Autism Acceptance Month Bundle and get both of these courses for 25% off.

We hope that you will join us in promoting autism acceptance this month and every month, as we celebrate each child’s unique differences, and promote truly inclusive early learning where every child is not only 

included but celebrated for the unique individual they are. Check out the CDC’s Autism Acceptance Month Partner Toolkit for more ideas of how you can participate and advocate for autism acceptance. When we include all children in early learning and celebrate differences, we support all children in reaching their full potential.