Celebrating Autism Awareness Month
Fostering a sense of community from afar
April is World Autism Month. In years past, Touchstone families and staff members have participated with other advocates and service providers in raising awareness and acceptance of individuals with autism across Louisiana. Even though this month we are unable to gather in large groups to see the growth of support from the communities we live in, we can still help create and find a sense of community from a distance.
Raising Awareness – Facts to Know
- According to the most recent data (March 26, 2020), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that autism affects 1 in 54 individuals.
- According to the CDC, at this time there is no single cause for autism and no scientific conclusion as to why the incidence of autism is increasing. Scientific studies continue around the globe to find answers to these questions.
- The CDC has created a free app for parents to track their child’s development milestones and better understand when to consult with their doctor on concerns.
Check out the app here: MILESTONE TRACKER APP
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, an individualized and evidence-based treatment for people with autism, remains the most recommended and scientifically-proven treatment for children with autism.
Gaining Acceptance – Resources to Share and Ways to Participate
Whether it’s to help a child with autism accept challenges he or she may experience, answer questions that siblings or peers may ask or help your friends and family better understand what you’re feeling, there are many amazing resources available online and in books.
Check out the ones below and, if you’d like, ask your BCBA for more recommendations during your next telehealth parent education session.
For young children on the spectrum:
- All My Stripes: A story for children with autism by Shaina Rudolph & Daniell Royer
- Autism Is…? series by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan
For young teens/adolescents on the spectrum:
- The Asperkid’s (secret) Book of Social Rules by Jennifer Cook O’Toole
For neuro-typical siblings and peers:
- Since We’re Friends by A Friend like Simon by Kate Gaynor
- Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson
Realistic fiction for family/friends:
- Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
To learn more about what behavior analysts do, visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board at www.bacb.com.
Finally, we invite you to “Light It Up Blue!” for Autism Awareness Month. Look up “autism awareness coloring pages” to download and print for a fun activity with your family. You can share a picture with us wearing your blue/autism awareness gear or decorated coloring page for a chance to be featured on the Touchstone Facebook page throughout the month of April! Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, save the date! Coming Fall 2020 – The Autism Speaks Walk in New Orleans is September 19, 2020. Sign up your team here!
Angela Moran, BCBA, LBA
Site Based Supervisor, New Orleans