If you or a loved one is living with autism, you’re already aware of the impact it can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the condition. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for autism — particularly in April, which is World Autism Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
“I wasn’t aware of autism at all until [my son] was in the process of a diagnosis, so I take autism awareness very seriously, as I’m sure all of us do!” shared one MyAutismTeam member.
Raising awareness about autism is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics of autism. Learn more about autism’s types, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.
Autism spectrum disorder encompasses a wide range of neurological and developmental disorders. Autism can cause delays and disabilities related to learning, communication, social and motor skills, and behavior. Many people with autism also live with sensory sensitivities, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because its effects can range from mild to very severe and debilitating. Some people with autism function independently for their age level, and others will need assistance with basic functions for their entire lives.
After you’re armed with information about autism, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about autism, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness about autism.
You can share resources suggested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with people you know who could benefit from them. Additionally, you can share autism awareness information across Facebook and Twitter.
To ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate autism-related hashtag, like #AutismAwareness, #AutismAwarenessMonth, #WorldAutismMonth, or #WorldAutismAwarenessDay. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for autism, and it also allows other people with the condition to realize they aren’t alone. Joining an autism community on social media, such as MyAutismTeam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about autism is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. April 2, 2022, is World Autism Awareness Day and a great time to get together with others and build awareness.
You can walk or run for autism, play bingo, participate in fundraising activities, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about autism while having fun and raising money for the cause.
If you are able, you can also donate (or encourage others to donate) to places such as the Organization for Autism Research or the Autism Society of America to support autism advocacy and research.
In addition, remember to engage in self-care. It’s emotionally taxing to educate others about your experiences, so know your limits and accept when to put your mental well-being first.
MyAutismTeam is the social network and online support group for more than 124,000 people living with autism and their loved ones. Here, people come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your autism journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.