Updated: Jun 6
April is Autism Awareness Month! Every April the world celebrates World Autism Month, beginning with the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year marks the 16th annual World Autism Awareness Day.
How can we at Forbes AAC support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Approximately 30-40% of individuals with ASD have limited functional speech skills and can benefit from AAC (Howlin et al., 2014; Iacono et al., 2016; Pickles et al., 2014). We at Forbes AAC aim to support any individual who needs a voice!
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that it affects individuals in different ways and to varying degrees.
April is Autism Awareness Month - an opportunity to spread awareness and educate people about ASD.
One of the most important things to understand about autism is that it is not a disease, it is a neurological difference that affects the way individuals process information, communicate, and interact with others.
It's estimated that 1 in 36 children in the United States have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Maenner et al., 2021)
Early diagnosis and intervention is critical for children with autism, as it can help them develop important skills, such as communication
Autism Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn more about autism and to support individuals with autism and their families. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Educate yourself: Learn more about autism and the experiences of individuals with autism. Read books, watch documentaries, and attend events.
Support autism organizations: There are many organizations that provide support and resources to individuals with autism and their families. Consider donating or volunteering with one of these organizations.
Advocate for autism acceptance: People with autism face many challenges, including discrimination and lack of understanding. Advocate for greater acceptance and inclusion of individuals with autism in society.
Attend events: Many organizations hold events during Autism Awareness Month, such as walks and runs. Attend these events to show your support for individuals with autism.
Share your knowledge: Spread awareness and knowledge about autism by sharing information on social media or with friends and family.
By taking these steps, you can help promote greater understanding and support for individuals with autism. Let's work together to create a more inclusive and accepting society for everyone!
Maenner, M. J., Shaw, K. A., Bakian, A. V., Bilder, D. A., Durkin, M. S., Esler, A., Furnier, S. M., Hallas, L., Hall-Lande, J., Hudson, A., Hughes, M. M., Patrick, M., Pierce, K., Poynter, J. N., Salinas, A., Shenouda, J., Vehorn, A., Warren, Z., Constantino, J. N., . . . Cogswell, M. E. (2021). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 sites, United States, 2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, 70(11), 1–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss7011a1
Katie Threlkeld, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and the Educational Program Developer at Forbes AAC. She has over eight years of experience in AT and AAC assessment and treatment with both the pediatric and adult populations. Katie has presented at the state and national level on AAC topics and she has University teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate level.