April is Autism Awareness Month, a time when we recognize efforts for awareness, inclusion and self-determination for every person living with autism. This year, the Autism Society is going one step further to promote true acceptance and inclusion. Tens of thousands of people will be diagnosed with autism this year; it’s time for everyone to appreciate the individual talents and gifts that all people regardless of abilities have to offer.
Here’s what you can do this month to promote awareness:
Spread the word about National Autism Awareness Month.
Place the NAAM badge on your blog or social media page.
Use #AutismUniquelyYou to promote NAAM. Paint your hand, make a video or take a picture of a handprint in a fun place, and then share it on social media.
Go to a sensory-friendly movie. Select AMC theaters show films with the lights on and the volume down low, where it is OK for folks to get up, move around and shout and sing if they need to!
Read these books to help understand autism, and what you can do to promote acceptance and appreciation of people and families living with autism.
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism not as a tragic disability, but as a unique way of being human. Autism is usually portrayed as a checklist of deficits, including difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now Dr. Barry M. Prizant, an internationally renowned autism expert, offers a new and compelling paradigm: the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.
One of the first books to explore firsthand the challenges of living with autism, Carly’s Voice brings readers inside a once-secret world in the company of an inspiring young woman who has found her voice and her mission. In this international bestseller, father and advocate for Autism awareness Arthur Fleischmann blends his daughter Carly’s own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter—after years of believing that she was unable to understand or communicate with him.
Animals in Translation
Temple Grandin’s professional training as an animal scientist and her history as a person with autism have given her a perspective like that of no other expert in the field. Grandin and coauthor Catherine Johnson present their powerful theory that autistic people can often think the way animals think—putting autistic people in the perfect position to translate “animal talk.” Exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, even animal genius, Grandin is a faithful guide into their world. Animals in Translation reveals that animals are much smarter than anyone ever imagined, and Grandin, standing at the intersection of autism and animals, offers unparalleled observations and extraordinary ideas about both.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
Framed with both humor and compassion, the book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism. Ellen’s personal experiences as a parent of children with autism and ADHD, a celebrated autism author, and a contributor to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum.
by Lisa Genova
New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova offers a unique perspective in fiction—the extraordinary voice of Anthony, a nonverbal boy with autism. Anthony reveals a neurologically plausible peek inside the mind of autism, why he hates pronouns, why he loves swinging and the number three, how he experiences routine, joy, and love. And it is the voice of this voiceless boy that guides two women in this powerfully unforgettable story to discover the universal truths that connect us all.
A Practical Guide to Autism: What Every Parent, Family Member, and Teacher Needs to Know
Filled with useful advice for parents and caregivers of children exhibiting autistic characteristics, A Practical Guide to Autism provides easy-to-access, reliable information regarding the selection of doctors, schools, services, and insurance, as well as day-to-day living in the family, school, and community. Written by Fred Volkmar, a leading authority on autism in the United States, and Lisa Wiesner, an experienced pediatrician with a special focus on pediatric autism, this guide provides reliable, accessible information.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia
As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is acutely aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and she has devoted much of her time to helping these families. She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject. In her clinic, parents discuss all aspects of their child’s condition, confident in the knowledge that they are not only talking to a professional but to a parent who has lived their experience.
Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism
Imagine what it would be like not to be able to communicate with those we love. For many individuals living with nonverbal autism and their families, this is their everyday reality. The Golden Hat is an intimate response to this reality created by Kate Winslet, Margret Ericsdottir, and her son Keli, who has nonverbal autism. Kate and Margret’s stories, their personal email correspondence, and Keli’s poetry give us a profound insight into the world of those living with autism.
Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World
As a boy, Raun Kaufman was diagnosed by multiple experts as severely autistic, with an IQ below 30, and destined to spend his life in an institution. Years later, Raun graduated with a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and has become a passionate and articulate autism expert and educator with no trace of his former condition.
So what happened? In this book, Raun presents the ground-breaking principles behind the program that helped him and thousands of other families with special children.