Autism Society of Spokane builds inclusive society for autism community to live fully through connection and acceptance
[April 1 2021, Spokane] – This April, Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter celebrates differences as it works to build an inclusive society where individuals with autism live fully through connection and acceptance. Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter is advocating for lawmakers to federally and globally designate April as Autism Acceptance Month (AAM), a shift from the commonly used phrase “Autism Awareness Month.”
“While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter — the need for acceptance is greater than ever, as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life,” states Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “Many individuals and organizations recognize April as “Autism Acceptance Month” and we hope that our advocacy efforts can officially designate April as such, and create language consistency across this community.”
This name change will build momentum around Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter mission for communities to be more aware of autism, promote acceptance, and to become more inclusive in everyday life. Designed to build awareness of the realities of autism, #CelebrateDifferences encourages individuals with autism and their families to live full, quality lives through connection and acceptance. #IAmMe is introduced to empower autistic individuals by highlighting strengths. Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter `encourages its members to share photos of themselves doing a favorite activity, to showcase pride and promote acceptance.
Julie Parry, the Spokane Chapter President. She said, “This April we are partnering with UnLeashed Academy to donate an autism service dog to a family in Spokane County’’. She hopes this year the autism society will be able to resume the family events and in-person meetings which help prevent the social isolation, so common with autism. The Steps for Autism fun walk is rescheduled for August 2021. We plan to have an application for the Autism Service Dog project on our website and Facebook page on April 1 and have a family selected by April 30”.
In the United States, the autism prevalence rate has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010, to 1 in 54 in 2021–recognizing this continued increase, Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter’s goal for AAM is to further increase awareness about autism signs, symptoms and opportunities through: information and referrals, events, printable and digital resources, and community partnerships. Awareness leads to acceptance, which is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system throughout the lifespan.
The Autism Society understands the importance of fostering acceptance to ignite change through improved support and opportunities in education, employment, accessible housing, affordable health care and comprehensive long-term services and supports.
On April 2, 2021, Autism Society of Washington, Spokane Chapter will share resources designed to inform and encourage communities to celebrate differences, and become more inclusive of individuals with autism. The campaign will overlap with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, and continue throughout the month. These resources will be made available on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpokaneASW for sharing as well as on http://www.autism-society.org for download.
Learn how you can #CelebrateDifferences by visiting http://www.autism-society.org to learn more.