5 Ways to Show Autism Acceptance and Inclusion in Everyday Life
Updated: Apr 14
The CDC currently reports that 1 in 54 children in the United States meets the criteria for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Your actions can help this large population, and their caregivers feel accepted in a world that can be challenging to navigate.
The first step in increasing acceptance is education. New Jersey currently has many programs readily available. Familiarize yourself with autism and pass on the knowledge! By amplifying the voices of individuals with autism, you help them provide education to others.
Use the preferred language for each individual! Be sure to ask if they prefer identity-first language or person-first language. For example, instead of calling someone an "autistic boy," we can say, "a boy with autism." Instead of using disabilities as defining adjectives, we highlight abilities and empower them. This small change can make a big difference in how someone feels about themselves.
Advocate for your workplace to be inclusive. Consider implementing the role of an ambassador to create an inclusive environment. This position would be tasked with creating an accepting environment when you are planning an event, a class, a party, a volunteer effort, or a new marketing initiative. Inclusion is a necessity in the workplace. You can make an impact by taking that chance.
Mix it up. You can easily diversify the entertainment you and your family watch to include disabilities awareness. Movies (like "LOOP") that feature stories about autism help represent diversity and can be helpful in understanding the autism community. They also provide examples of how to be more inclusive.
Offer support through advocacy. Advocate for your friends with autism. Post on social media when there's a good article about autism inclusion. Spread the word about how to take the steps for acceptance and inclusion.
Allies In Caring is proud to provide inclusive environments to help all children! We offer top-notch pediatric-focused physical, occupational, and speech therapy no matter the child's need! To learn more about our work with kids with autism, please contact Cinthya Castillo, Staff Development Specialist, at CCastillo@alliesincaring.org