Autism Awareness Month Kickoff: How to Remain Involved
March 24, 2020
How you can Continue to Support the Autism Community from Home
People all over the world are going through a tough time right now due to the coronavirus, but the autism community needs us more than ever. With National Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day coming up in April, larger events may be canceled and center-based therapy may be on hold, but there are still ways to celebrate these amazing individuals and show your support for them while maintaining social distancing.
In an effort to spread awareness around autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while also bringing some cheer and strength into your home, we at Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers came up with a few ideas on how to remain involved this month.
Whether you are a family member of someone on the spectrum, or a concerned friend of the community hoping to commit yourself to the cause, here are some ways you can contribute from home, even if we need to be physically separated because of COVID-19.
5 Ways to Get Involved in Autism Awareness Month from Home
Wear your support. From t-shirts embellished with phrases like “What’s your superpower?” and “Be Kind! It’s Au-some,” to hats and water bottles adorned with puzzle pieces, Hopebridge plans to have you covered…literally! The Hopebridge Family Store has fun and fashionable pieces to outfit its kiddos, siblings and parents to support our shared cause. To spread autism awareness from home, take photos of your family sporting the gear and post it to social media using hashtags like, #AutismAwareness, #AutismFamily and #Hopebridge as a way to continue to celebrate with each other from afar.
Participate in a virtual event. Though we can’t be together in person at this time, we can still stand for the cause together virtually. Follow Hopebridge360 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during the month of April to connect with others supporting autism awareness. Video story times, singalongs and virtual dance parties are just some of the ways you family can remain engaged online. Several organizations are also hosting virtual walks during April, so consider putting on some of your new Hopebridge shirts and going for a walk around the neighborhood to spread awareness. Don’t yet see the event you’re hoping for? Create your own online Autism Awareness Month celebration to get your friends and family “moving” in the name of ASD!
Show off your spirit through your home. Want to spread the word through your neighborhood while maintaining your distance? Join Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign by decorating your house with twinkling blue lights…bonus: it will also add some extra cheer for your neighbors! Our Hopebridge Family Store also offers a range of yard signs and license plates to share your support from the front lawn.
Pledge to volunteer your help. One of the best ways you can show a loved one with autism you care is to volunteer your time. There is no one right way to volunteer. What this looks like depends on the time and resources you have available, as well as the needs of those you want to support. During times like this when there are quarantine situations and “shelter in place” orders, this could mean offering to drop off some groceries to an autism parent who might have difficulties leaving the house. You can also create and mail a “voucher” for a free hour of babysitting to a family who could benefit from a little respite after this is all over. If you are looking to go bigger, contact your local autism organizations to find out what help they may need at this time or in the future.
Become an autism advocate. Are you the superfan of someone with autism? Now’s your chance to serve as an advocate. Like volunteering, there are a number of ways you can get involved. Advocating can be as simple as taking a pledge; for example, check out Autism Society’s #CelebrateDifferences campaign. You can also reach out directly to your state representatives to share your support for specific legislation as it relates to the autism community. Many organizations have programs in place to walk people through the available opportunities, such as Autism Speaks’ Advocacy Ambassador Program, which is made up of grassroots volunteers who share their personal experiences and serve as the main point of contact for their respective legislators.
We realize this is not an easy time for most individuals and families, especially those touched by autism, who may feel extra stressed as the daily routine is thrown off course. We hope setting aside at least a few minutes to share the love for those around us (whether currently near or far!), will lift spirits and put a spotlight on the importance of acceptance, awareness and support for the autism community.
For more information on Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers’ involvement in the autism community, please contact us to learn about our centers and programs across the nation.
“Does insurance cover ABA therapy for kids with autism?” “How soon can my child start therapy?” Dive into the details by checking out some of our frequently asked questions.