• Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

Happy Autism Awareness Month --- in April!  This is always a great time for those in my program because we have a slew of things we do to promote awareness.  Schools are usually always welcoming (with advance notice and planning) of activities we want to do related to Autism Awareness.  And the possibilities are endless.  A great source for finding "ready made" or simple activities is the site Autism Speaks.  There you will also find all kinds of great things such as providers of services, tool-kits for schools and communities, resources in Spanish, and a resource library.  Autism Speaks also gives out grants, which can potentially be a source of funding for your innovative ideas surrounding Autism. Click on the image below to go to the site and find some great ideas for your school!

A few of the most basic things you can do are to use the awesome bulletin boards around the school. We always have a few in the halls, the library and wherever else the school allows.  For us, it's a team effort.  Teachers and therapists help in putting together the bulletin boards.  We like to include facts that may dispel  some of the myths surrounding autism.  We also like to include the names of famous people with Autism.  Often we have our kids do an art project and post those too.... At one of my schools we have an anonymous  "box" where students from the school can submit questions or concerns.  In the mornings, for the week during April 4th, we have students read autism facts with the morning announcements.  One year, I had a student with aspergers give a presentation about himself (he video taped it first) and then showed it to his class (with parental permission of course).  We also bring in treats for the faculty and post fun signs around the treats about autism.

We are lucky to have such good support in our schools.  I work in 5 different schools and have to say they are overall very supportive.  They allow me to go into the classrooms and give presentations about autism.  This is one of my all time favorite things to do because the students are generally very interested.  After my presentation, I open it up to questions, telling them NO QUESTION is stupid or bad.  And wow, you should hear some of them.  "Are people with autism retard?", "Can you get rid of autism", I even had someone ask me if people with autism were blind!  So you see there is a lot of mis-information out there.  Below is my stock presentation I use in the classrooms.  I try to get into as many as possible each year.  Knowing about autism, in my experience, helps to increase understanding and tolerance.

This is a great ready-made presentation for you to use in general education classes for Autism Awareness.
Available on my Teachers Pay Teachers site.  Click on the image to see it.

Kids and teachers and generally very welcoming to do a presentation on Autism Awareness.  Try it!

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