Tag Archives: autism awareness

Every Child Deserves a Champion

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Happy Baby Boy On Grass

April marks Autism Awareness Month and as we contemplate the meaning of this time, we are reminded of a quote that begins, “Every child deserves a champion”.  It strikes a chord because I think each of us can recall a moment where a teacher, a family member or someone in our community made a difference in our lives.

As parents and professionals working with children with special needs, we see it on a whole other level.  Champions are most commonly seen in the fierce determination and strength of the parents who work tirelessly to ensure their child’s rights are honored, their needs are met and their therapy schedule is adhered to.  We also see champions every day in the faces of therapists who passionately execute their job not only with clinical excellence, but with love.  Champions can also come in the form of young siblings who play with, defend and celebrate their special needs siblings – enlisting advocates in their classrooms and on the playground.

And then their are our kids and adults with autism who teach us every day that they are extraordinary, brave, different (but not less), intelligent, loving, funny, kind…and uniquely wonderful.

For all of us who know how profoundly changed we have been to know or witness a champion, let this be our cause for the month of April –  May we help bring awareness so that others can know what we know.  So that they too, can champion a child.

“Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”   -Rita Pierson

Here are some resources you can share with your community this month (and all year long):

All Autism News

All Autism Videos

All Autism Talk

In Touch Newsletter

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Autism Awareness Continues

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Autism Awareness

As the saying goes, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met ONE person with autism”.  If you have talked with different members of the autism community during autism awareness month, you have likely had very different conversations about our experiences and what we hope might come from this month.  Some will share the need for greater understanding, compassion, and inclusion.  Others might point to the need for more investment in research and access to services.  Some parents align strongly with specific organizations and messages while others carve their own path.

Ultimately, there is no “wrong” way to share your voice and your story.  As we honestly offer our perspective and experience, we add to the collective awareness (acceptance, support, action…) that we all hope to inspire.

Whether you are at walks, sharing or seeking information in your community, wearing blue or not.  We celebrate the diversity of our community and the way in which we all contribute to the cause of enlightening our world about the amazing abilities and challenges we all have the opportunity to support.

Here are a few exciting “wins” for our community currently taking place.

  • Companies like Microsoft and STEM are beginning to create practices for hiring individuals on the spectrum while organizations like Specialisterne and ASTEP are assisting more companies to follow suit.
  • The momentum of research continues to build and there is a lot of optimism about how the emerging information could support faster identification and better support for children with autism.
  • Technology is playing a big role in communication as well as how services are delivered.
  • Recently, Hawaii, Mississippi and Georgia became the latest states to pass autism insurance reform.

Read more about the news stories listed in this blog on www.allautismnews.com

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