Autism cannot be cured, but the condition often can be effectively treated, especially if treatment is begun early in the affected person's life. April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to inform people about autism and to improve understanding of autism and the quality of treatment.
Bounce for Autism
During the month of April, the National Autism Society partners with the company Pump It Up to host inflatable bounce party fundraisers throughout the United States to benefit autism research. The fundraisers are designed to be fun for the whole family, and there are more than 100 events nationwide. Find an event in your area, get your team together and get started collecting donations. If there is not a Bounce for Autism event near you, become the organizer of your community's own bouncy fundraiser.
Sensory Friendly Films
Many children with autism cannot enjoy films the way their peers do because of the intense sensory input experienced by seeing a movie in the theater where the volume is very loud and the seating arrangement is constricting. The National Autism Society has organized special showings at AMC theaters throughout the United States called “Sensory Friendly Films.” At these movies, the volume is low, the lights are not dimmed, and children are allowed to stand, walk, dance or otherwise be active during the film. Take your family to one of these showings during April to experience a movie from another perspective and meet some new friends.
Read a Book
Whether you belong to a book club or just want to read up on autism on your own, there are many books to increase your knowledge and understanding of this condition. Read some informative nonfiction such as "Animals in Translation" by Temple Grandin, an animal behaviorist who uses her autism to aid her in understanding animals. If you're looking for a novel, there are several with autistic protagonists, such as "Saving Max" by Antoinette van Heugten, a thriller about an autistic teenager.
Attend a Speech
The organization Autism Speaks has become influential throughout the country. Its mission is “to fund global biomedical research into the causes and treatment of autism; to promote public awareness and understanding about autism; to lobby for insurance and increased federal spending; and to offer much needed services for affected families.” Visit its website to find an informative speech to attend during April.