I’ll be the first to admit that at a party, I’m the one in the corner or the back of the room, hopefully having found the host’s pet cat or dog to hang out with. I’m painfully shy and struggle in groups. I bet a lot of you can relate. But for those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) social interaction is a minefield and can make daily life extremely difficult to navigate through for them and their friends and loved ones. That’s why Autism Awareness Month exists: to build understanding and support in every community, and hopefully make a difference in the lives of those with ASD.
There are lots of ways we as individuals can help the people in our lives with ASD, but of course every individual is different and therefore these are just general suggestions!
- Start an online meetup group and encourage those with ASD to join in. Plan events that individuals with ASD will respond to, like listening to music, watching a movie or perhaps crafting. Things that stimulate but don’t overwhelm, like crocheting or putting together a puzzle.
- Start an on campus club at your school, inviting those of all backgrounds, including those with ASD to join. It will allow you to get to know these people, what helps them, and provide you with tools to make sure everyone in your community thrives.
- Wearing Autism awareness pins to let those with ASD know that you’re a friend and an ally. Something simple like autism awareness pins can start a conversation, build a bridge and foster a friendship.
These are just a few suggestions for how to celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April. If you have suggestions be sure to share them in the comments!