The Importance of Autism Awareness Month


April 1st marked the beginning of Autism Awareness Month for the year 2021, and individuals and communities have been showing their support.
Autism can be defined as “a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges,” according to the CDC. In 1970, the Autism Society began a nationwide effort to increase autism awareness and ensure that individuals affected by autism are provided with the same opportunities and are able to achieve their goals. The Autism Society created National Autistic Children’s Week in 1972 in April, which has now become Autism Awareness month.
Over time, Autism Awareness Month has grown and has begun to receive the recognition it deserves, due to its importance.
“Autism Awareness Month is important to me because it’s an opportunity to showcase the bright minds and voices throughout this community in a way that can educate so many people. People throughout the world can then realize that this disability is truly beautiful and learn to accept everyone for their differences,” Best Buddies Publicity Secretary, Cara DelMonte, said.
Throughout the month of April, events will happen across the world to spread awareness about autism and build support through fundraisers, presentations, and special opportunities to recognize people with autism. Individuals can participate during the month to show their own support by participating in a Walk for Autism, wearing blue, educating themselves and others about autism, and spreading kindness.
Participation from individuals to show their support can happen any time throughout the month, but the biggest day in Autism Awareness month was April 2nd, also known as World Autism Awareness Day.
April 2nd is just the beginning, though, and as mentioned before, everyone and anyone can raise awareness for autism and show support throughout the rest of the month and more.
Marriotts Ridge students are also participating in Autism Awareness Month. Best Buddies is a club at Marriotts Ridge that focuses on creating a welcoming and friendly environment for students with disabilities by pairing individuals with and without disabilities for support and friendship. For Best Buddies, April is an important month for all the members to come together to celebrate and show support for autism.
“Autism Awareness Month is important to me because it highlights the special voices of those who may typically feel marginalized in society. It’s a great time to recognize the talents, and individual personalities of buddies within our school and share them with others,” Best Buddies Vice President, Alexa Mulroe, said.
This year, the club decided to put something special together for the important month.
“To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, the club Best Buddies put together a video informing all of Marriotts Ridge that it is Autism Awareness Month and what they can do to support those with autism. We also had a weekly meeting with the rest of the Best Buddies club to celebrate everyone,” Best Buddies President, Caroline Meininger, said.
Overall, the month of April focuses on spreading knowledge and information about Autism to gain support from individuals and communities — not just for the month, but for the entire year and years to come. The Marriotts Ridge community has shown their support this month through supporting everyone and spreading awareness and information about autism.