In recent years, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has received more recognition by the general public. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate and interact with other people. Other symptoms include engaging in repetitive behaviors and having a “special interest.” ASD is considered a spectrum because the condition comes in different levels of severity. All of April is Autism Awareness Month, with Autism Awareness Day being celebrated annually on April 2nd, typically commemorated with the color blue or a puzzle piece symbol. Whether you yourself are on the spectrum or you want to support a family member or friend who is, there are plenty of ways you can take part in activism during this month.
Sensory Friendly Easter Bunny Event (Sunday, April 3, 2022, 5 PM to 6:30 PM)
Many children want to visit the Easter Bunny, but for children with autism, this can sometimes serve as a challenge. Some children may struggle with the loudness that the mall can bring. They also may be sensitive to the fur on the bunny’s suit. That is why it has been made with sensory-friendly material that children with autism will feel more comfortable and at ease with – so come on over and take some photos for memories that will last a lifetime!
Family Autism Night at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine (Thursday, April 28th, 2022)
Pretend City ensures to support children of all abilities, and that doesn’t exclude kids who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. That is why they hold Family Autism Night at the end of every month, and what better time to come on over than in April? The event is made to be a safe and comfortable environment for children on all parts of the spectrum. If you are interested in taking a little one in your family with autism to this event, you can register here on their website. Space is limited with a maximum of 250 guests.
Consider donating to an Orange County-based autism charity
If you are not able to attend either of the events above or they simply do not pertain to you, you can alternatively donate to a good cause. Organizations such as Autism Resource Mom and the OC Autism Foundation are doing amazing things for the community, and you can help them just by offering some of them your spare change! Consider skipping on the morning coffee run for once and giving a little to a child in need.
In a world that is often struggling with understanding and acceptance, it’s important we stand up for those who may not be able to speak for themselves or be seen by others. This month should not just focus on one community but rather all communities because they deserve respect too – regardless if you are neurodivergent or not. While we usually promote things to do in Orange County that are purely for fun, we also believe in getting involved to support our community. We hope that you choose to be a part of the positive change that you want to see in the world.
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