What is Autism Awareness?

What is Autism Awareness?

Podcast #5  Original cast date March 30, 2020

What is Autism Awareness?

Show Description: With Autism Awareness Month just 2 days away, Jessica and Kelsey take a look at autism awareness and what it looks like.

What Does Autism Awareness Look Like?

Awareness: (as defined by The quality or state of being aware : knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists

  • Most people are “aware” that autism exists, but not aware or don’t know that it’s a spectrum
  • I would say in my (Jessica’s) humble opinion that the reason we have Autism Awareness Month in April is because there is a lack of understanding of the spectrum of autism and that autism presents itself in different ways

Why the puzzle piece?

a visual aid to illustrate the ‘puzzling’ nature of autism

The origins of the puzzle piece, the primary symbol for autism, go back to 1963. It was created by Gerald Gasson, a parent and board member for the National Autistic Society (formerly The Society for Autistic Children) in London. 

According to the Autism Society Webpage, the puzzle ribbon was adopted in 1999 as the universal sign of autism awareness. 

  • The puzzle pattern reflects the complexity of the autism spectrum. 
  • The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of the people and families living with the condition. 
  • The brightness of the ribbon signals hope — hope that through increased awareness of autism, and through early intervention and access to appropriate services/supports, people with autism will lead full lives able to interact with the world on their own terms.

What is World Autism Month?

Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. This year, we are committed to keeping the spirit of the month alive, as now more than ever we know the autism community needs support, kindness and compassion.

  • If nothing else, it’s a United Nations Sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day.  We appreciate that the United Nations is aware and has sanctioned the day.

What is Light It Up Blue?

The Light It Up Blue initiative was created by Autism Speaks in 2010. Since that time, joined by the international autism community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world light blue on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) in recognition of people with autism.

  • So many places are recognizing people with autism with blue lights on April 2. For the last 10 years, more and more places are lighting it up blue. It’s amazing that so many people are recognizing that this life is a different journey than others. Our struggles are not the same as those with all neurotypical children.  It’s tough. But for a day, with blue lights, I am honored and thankful that people are recognizing my son, that they are recognizing us. Let’s be kind. Let’s model the kindness we want others to model towards those in our lives who live with autism.  

Remember a lot of Faith, Love and Fidget toys, we’ll make it!


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