How to Observe Autism Acceptance in April

Two Methods:Social NetworkingBeyond the Computer

April is Autism Acceptance Month! Show your support of autistic people online and in person with these easy steps.

Method 1
Social Networking

  1. Image titled Autism Discussion Space.png
    Research autistic people's opinions. They can rid you of common misconceptions and teach you how to be a good ally.
  2. Image titled Autism Acceptance Group.png
    Spread the word. Tell people about Autism Acceptance Month via social networking or in person. Share links to autistic-run organizations, such as Autism Self-Advocacy Network and the Autism Women's Network.
    • Be wary of organizations that aren't run by autistic people and talk about "curing autism" or how autism "ruins families." This rhetoric is damaging to autistic people, and only adds to the stigma and shame that they face.
  3. Image titled Autism Articles on Blog.png
    Share articles written by autistic people. Autistic writers can offer great insights into their differences, their needs, and how life feels to them. Here are some excellent blogs by autistic people (and a few positive parents):
    • Musings of an Aspie
    • The Caffeinated Autistic
    • Real social skills
    • Autistic Hoya
    • Emma's Hope Book
    • We Are Like Your Child
    • Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance
  4. Image titled Guy Gives Flower to Sad Woman.png
    Share information about respecting autistic people. Many non-autistic people hold stereotypes of autistics as intentionally rude, lazy individuals who are mentally five years old. Here are some examples of information that is useful to non-autistic (a.k.a. neurotypical) people:
    • Many times, autistic people don't realize that they're being rude. The best way to deal with this is to ignore it, or take them aside and politely explain why their actions were inappropriate. If they hurt your feelings, say so. They will probably feel surprised and remorseful to hear it.
    • Stimming (flapping hands, rocking, etc.) is a normal and healthy behavior. Don't treat people differently because of it, and definitely don't tell them to stop.
    • Talking down to someone is always rude, whether they're autistic or not. Assume that your autistic friend is capable of understanding just as well as their peers.
    • Meltdowns aren't fun. Autistic people don't like them either.[1] Sometimes, the best meltdown cure is some quiet time alone.
    • Listen to autistic people. If they say they can't do something, then they can't do something. If they say something hurts, then stop it. If they say their therapist is abusing them, they mean it. Autistic people know themselves.
  5. Image titled Hiker on a Mountain.png
    Share stories of cool autistic people. Many autistic people are used to hearing that they're burdensome and inferior. Portray an alternate picture of autism, where autistic people are different but equal members of the human species. Give evidence that autistic people can succeed and live happy lives.
    • Look for autistic writers, scientists, activists, etc. in news and entertainment articles.
    • Blogs such as Disability Fest share lovable characters in fiction who are disabled. Sharing cool autistic characters also helps.
    • Knowing of other autistic people greatly improves autistic children's (and adults'!) self-esteem.
  6. Image titled Autistic Superhero.png
    Promote autistic people. Maybe you have an autistic friend who blogs, or maybe your autistic sibling really wants to share a quote with the world. Offer to promote them on social media.
    • Always ask first! Never out someone as autistic without their explicit permission.
  7. Image titled Autism Acceptance Month Drawing.png
    Find autistic-led projects to participate in. Autistic people have organized many different online community activities, and you are welcome to join in and show your support (whether you are autistic or not).
    • #RedInstead—take a selfie wearing red to show your support of autism acceptance.
    • Take the autism acceptance pledge.
    • Search autistic-run websites to see what they're sponsoring or participating in.
  8. Image titled Handsome Neurodiverse Man.png
    Use the neurodiversity symbol (a rainbow infinity sign) to show your support. It was developed by autistic people and is all about diversity!
    • The puzzle piece and "light it up blue" are associated with harmful groups and are controversial/disliked in the community.

Method 2
Beyond the Computer

  1. Image titled Man Reacts to Anti Autism Hate Speech.png
    Always research an organization before participating in one of its events. Some autism-related organizations, such as Autism Speaks, promote harmful rhetoric that reinforces the abuse of autistic people. Always check to make sure that your participation will help, not hurt.
    • Organizations run by autistic people are usually good.
    • Organizations supported by the autistic community are usually good.
    • Searching for the keywords "______ controversy" or "_____ hate group" can help you determine if autistic people protest the group's message.
  2. Image titled Autism Donation Box.png
    Consider donating to an autistic-run organization. Organizations run by autistic people can do a lot of good work: training people, teaching about autism acceptance, creating positive media, building community, and supporting autistic people and their families. Your money can help autistic people everywhere.
  3. Image titled Two Girls Talking about Neurodiversity.png
    If you run a club, company, charity, or other organization, consider partnering with an autistic-run organization. This will help spread positive messages, end stigma, and boost autistic people's efforts (not to mention generating positive PR).
  4. Image titled Man Asks Woman a Question.png
    Ask autistic people for ideas for how to be helpful. They may have excellent suggestions.
  5. Image titled Man and Autistic Boy Laughing.png
    Treat autistic people with compassion and respect. Accept the fact that they are different, and appreciate them for who they are.
    • If everyone did this, there would be no need for Autism Acceptance Month.
  6. Image titled Happy Autistic Man and Woman.png
    Consider making autistic friends. Autistic people in general are passionate, loyal, genuine, and funny. You may be surprised at what good friends they can be!
  7. Image titled Autism Acceptance Art Event.png
    Try organizing an activity for Autism Acceptance Month. This could involve a concert, an autistic speaker, a fundraiser, or something as simple as painting pictures together that celebrate neurodiversity.


  • Always assume that autistic people are competent, capable, and well-meaning. Flapping hands or not speaking don't equate someone to a baby.
  • Whenever you're writing something, think: "How would an autistic person feel while reading this? Would they feel accepted or alienated?" If you think that the autistic person would feel good, you're doing a great job.


  • Never support "curing autism," "fixing" people, children "taken away" by autism, or the poor poor families "afflicted" with an autistic child. Autism is a fundamental part of autistic people's lives and experiences. Don't demonize who they are.
  • Affiliating your group with an organization that fights autism will generate very bad PR. Expect the community to mobilize with letter-writing campaigns, social media movements, and boycotts. Always choose organizations carefully.

Article Info

Categories: Autism Spectrum | Disability Activism