6 Autism Awareness Month Activities for Kids
Fact checked by Elisa Cinelli. Elisa is an expert on child behavior, certified in Positive Discipline, and the former Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms.
April is National Autism Awareness Month and April 2, 2022, is World Autism Awareness Day. Find cool activities for your kids to learn about autism in school and at home. We can all do more to observe the occasion and boost support for autistic people.
More: 15 Great Children's Books About Autism
How much do you know about autism? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects how a person interacts with others and how they experience the world.
Autism exists on a spectrum, which means that its qualities may show up to different extremes in different individuals. Those towards the high-functioning end of the spectrum (which includes Aspergers) may be able to live a fairly independent life, while those on the low-functioning end may be less able to express themselves and may need more life skills support.
Autism Awareness Month Activities for Kids
So why do we need an acceptance month? Autistic people still face many barriers in society and sadly, they still face stigma. It’s important to educate our children to create a more just world where people who are different can find acceptance and love.
Try some of these activities with your kids this April:
1. Read Books About Autism
Learning about autism spectrum disorder is the best way to work towards autism acceptance in society. Kids tend to be curious about disabilities and fulfilling that curiosity will support them in their understanding of different types of learners.
There are many children's books that help explain autism in kid-friendly ways. After you read them together, encourage your child to ask questions and model empathy in your follow-up discussions.
2. Organize a No-Bullying Campaign
Autistic children may struggle socially. Sadly, they often face bullying. To help to combat this, work together with your child to organize an anti-bullying campaign in honor of Autism Awareness Month.
Consider getting permission from your child's school to set up a bullying prevention pledge table in the cafeteria, and encourage your child and his friends to collect pledges from as many students as possible.
3. Show Your Support on Social Media
If you want to spread a message in today’s world, social media is the way to do it. Post a photo to celebrate autism awareness or a link to learning activities that could help others learn more about developmental disabilities like autism.
4. Participate in a Fundraiser
Fundraisers are held all over the country to raise money for autism research and promote autism acceptance. Run or walk a 5K to mark national autism awareness month and to show your support for those with disabilities.
5. Host Your Own Fundraiser
The Autism Society, a leading autism advocacy organization, encourages you to come up with your own fundraiser in honor of autism awareness through their "1 Power 4 Autism" program. Whether you would like to walk, run, cycle, row, or golf for charity, or if you'd like to host a lemonade sale, dance-a-thon, or paint night... the possibilities are endless. Help your child brainstorm fun ways to raise funds for a great cause during the month of April, and start planning today!
6. Go Red Instead
Many autistic people and those who support the autism community have turned against the “light it up blue” campaign promoted by Autism Speaks. Unfortunately, this organization seeks to “cure” autism rather than promote acceptance. So instead of deciding to wear blue and using puzzle pieces as symbolism, many people are dressing in red to show their support on World Autism Awareness Day.
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Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families.