Reflecting back to past Aprils leaves me with some positive and some negative thoughts. Each year I do the Autism Speaks Walk as well as do some autism awareness activities throughout my school. It is great to see how year after year autism awareness gains momentum and voice. The walk has been larger than ever, loads of stores and restaurants do charitable promotions, and even the skyline is light up blue in acknowledgement. We are a long way from getting a confused look from others when you mention autism. Now when you bring up autism, the person you are talking to probably even knows someone with autism. Which brings me to the other side of this issue – the increase in autism awareness increases along with the increase in the incidence of autism. The latest numbers are 1 in every 88 children. My handout from last year that I looked at had 1 in 91 and the year before had 1 in 126. It just keeps growing. It’s overwhelming. Research is more important than ever. Use this month as an opportunity to support autism research in one way or another.
I shared a post a few weeks ago about my Autism Awareness Unit (by the by – thanks so much for all the super sweet feedback you all have for this product – I am SO HAPPY you have found this unit as helpful as I do!). I threw up my bulletin boards this morning. Not as cute as they could be but at least they are colorful and get our point across! It was fun seeing the first students working on the questions this afternoon. I love overhearing their conversations. “Yea some kids with autism for sure can read, that one is false.”
Do you do anything special for Autism Awareness month? What charity do you choose to support?