Autism Acceptance Month

30 November -0001

Text Description: Autism Acceptance Month. Acceptance is an action.

SWAN supports Autism Acceptance Month (April each year) and neurodiversity. Neurodiversity, part of the autism rights movement, frames autism, bipolarity, ADHD and other neurotypes as a natural human variation. Neurodiversity promotes inclusive support systems, accommodations, communication and assistive technologies, occupational training and independent living support to allow people who are neurodivergent to live their lives as they are, rather than being forced to conform to society's accepted ideas of 'normality'.

Kit Albrecht in her article for AssistiveWare details 5 Guidelines to keep in mind during Autism Acceptance Month:

  1. Many of us dislike people-first language
  2. We're weary (and wary) of awareness campaigns
  3. Nothing about us without us
  4. We want to live well, not become normal
  5. Functioning labels are uninformative and harmful

Why Acceptance rather than 'Awareness'?

From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)'s Autism Acceptance Month project:

"April is Autism Acceptance Month. During Autism Acceptance Month, we focus on sharing positive, respectful, and accurate information about autism and autistic people. Autism Acceptance Month promotes acceptance and celebration of autistic people as family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and community members making valuable contributions to our world. Autism is a natural variation of the human experience, and we can all create a world which values, includes, and celebrates all kinds of minds. In a nutshell, Autism Acceptance Month is about treating autistic people with respect, listening to what we have to say about ourselves, and making us welcome in the world.

  • Because autistic people are your friends, family members, children, partners, co-workers, fellow-citizens, customers, and neighbours.
  • Because autism is a natural part of the human experience.
  • Because autistic rights are human rights.
  • Because autistic people can speak for ourselves, and we want you to listen to us.
  • Because we aren't going anywhere.
  • Because this is our world too.
  • Because there are all kinds of minds, and this world is big enough for all of us."

How can I support Autism Acceptance Month?

  • Embrace differences.
  • Learn about autism. You can also borrow from the SWAN Resource Library (available to all SWAN members, free of charge).
  • Actively include people with autism and other disabilities in your events, programs, and services.
  • Support your local organisation / support group that supports children, adolescents and adults with autism and their families.
  • Donate or volunteer. SWAN receive no ongoing government funding. We need your support to improve the quality of life of autistic children, teens and adults living locally in the south west community.
  • Celebrate autism acceptance and neurodiversity at your school, workplace or club. Host a free dress day, activity or event celebrating everyone's unique differences (eg. 'Dress in your favourite colour'), and donate funds raised to your local autism support organisation. Get involved - ask your school, workplace or club what they are doing to support autism acceptance month, or organise an activity / event yourself.
  • Invite an autistic person to share with your school, staff or community group.
  • Dedicate April to learning about our 7 senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, vestibular and proprioception) at your school.  Find out more about the 7 senses here.
  • Become a member of SWAN (FREE).
  • Follow us on Facebook.

Short videos about autism, disability, acceptance and inclusion:

There are many short videos about autism, disability, acceptance and inclusion available on the internet. Some good examples are:

Assistive Technology Apps discounted for Autism Acceptance Month:

Lauren Enders (Speech Pathologist) has compiled a list of discounted Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Apps available during April.  View the list on Facebook or via Dropbox.

Free Webinars from the Autism CRC

  • Diagnosis and Early Years 1 hour webinar on Wednesday 24 April 2019 at 2:30pm (AEST) - Register to attend
  • Adulthood 1 hour webinar on Friday 26 April 2019 at 12:30pm (AEST) - Register to attend
  • Autistic Voices 1 hour webinar on Monday 29 April 2019 at 1:00pm (AEST) - Register to attend
  • School Years 1 hour webinar on Tuesday 30 April 2019 at 10:30am (AEST) - Register to attend

Note: All four webinars will be recorded and uploaded to the Autism CRC's YouTube channel within a week of being broadcast.

The Autism Summit

Log in live for FIVE days of free webinars from 1st-5th April, or pay $89 for unlimited access to the webinars after the event.

  • DAY ONE 1st April:  Supporting Big Emotions & Challenging Behaviours with speakers Prof Tony Attwood, Maggie Dent, Allison Davies and Rhiannon Crispe
  • DAY TWO 2nd April: Diet and Lifestyle with speakers Sue Dengate, Alex Stuart, Kirsty Wirth and Simone Emery
  • DAY THREE 3rd April:  Thriving at School and Work with speakers Chris Varney, Deb Hopper, Michelle Morrow and Yenn Purkis
  • DAY FOUR 4th April:  The World of Therapies with speakers Vivienne Williams, Sarah Crook, Joanne Stephen and Katherine Savidis
  • DAY FIVE 5th April:  Love, Hope and Advocacy with speakers Dr James Best, Randa Habelrih, Kristy Forbes and Laura Lewis

Image of the SWAN logo surrounded by pictures of children and teens playing.