Here’s a startling statistic: one in every 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a population that’s growing—and our awareness should, too.
April is National Autism Awareness Month and it’s a great time to get active. There is much we can all do to learn about autism and to help those who need it. Taking our cues from our friends at the Autism Society, here are some simple ways to contribute to the autism community this month.
- Take a Course. The Autism Society offers a free online course on autism called Autism 101. The 30-minute course offers an introduction to the autism spectrum, as well as treatment and assistance options.
- Check out an Artist. ASPIE artist Paul McAuliffe is a musician with a passion for wooden and bamboo flutes. His collection includes models from Japan, India, Nigeria, South America and elsewhere and he even carves his own. His albums Young cat Dreams and Rhythm of the Seasons are available in the ASPIE gallery.
- Wear the Ribbon. The Autism Awareness Ribbon, which features the well-known puzzle graphic pictured above, is asign of support for the autism community and has been since 1999. The Autism Society sells ribbon magnets, pins, shirts and other gear.
- Use the Hashtag. The hashtag #StandUpForAutism is used to foster conversation about autism.
- Attend an Event. The Autism Society has state and local affiliates, which sponsor events of all kinds. Click here to find your local affiliate.
- Salute the Caregivers. ASPIE salutes all the parents, caregivers, family members, nurses, doctors, teachers, therapists, employers, healthcare pros and others who help people with autism—children and adults—every day. They make all the difference and deserve our support.
At ASPIE, we try to make a difference. The ASPIE community of artists includes those with autism spectrum disorder and we work closely with artists and caregivers to ensure that they can produce and display their art in ASPIE’s online gallery, where donations provide artists with much-needed supplemental income.
ASPIE’s mission is to help adult artists with disabilities grow more self sufficient. April is a great time to focus on that mission, whether by visiting the gallery to obtain a gift or making a donation. Together, we can make it a reality.