April is a very exciting month for the American Autism Association and our community, as it is for many individuals and organizations around the world. April is Autism Awareness Month, a time dedicated to encouraging our global community to take measures to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the spirit of this special month, we would like to highlight some of the incredible ways individual members of our community can join the movement to help raise awareness.

Participate in Planned Awareness Events
There are several fun events being held around the world that individuals can participate in! For example, a charity run was held over the weekend at Shanghai’s Haichang Ocean Park in the Pudong New Area that brought in about 1,000 participants to call for more care of children with autism. Conversely, a Platinum Fitness gym in Verona, New Jersey, is hosting a “Health and Wellness Dance Party” for Autism Awareness month. There are an incredible amount of diverse and exciting events happening in support of this great cause, explore your local awareness events and participate to show your support! Or, take steps towards raising awareness and join us for our We Run The Spectrum: Virtual 5K – run anytime, anywhere.

Take Solo Action
Individuals are not limited to planned events and fundraisers to help raise awareness this month, other than participating in planned events there are several ways individuals can show their support in fun and creative ways. One individual in New York, Paul Robitaille, celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving to help raise funds and support for a local organization in Hudson Valley dedicated to providing services to individuals with autism. Raising awareness can be fun! Explore unique opportunities to not only spread awareness but additionally support your community’s existing awareness efforts.

Small steps, big results
To make a difference, however, one doesn’t have to necessarily jump out of a plane. Taking small steps such as talking to your friends, family, and community members about autism can have a great domino effect. Spreading awareness is a keystone of this month, and one individual can truly make a difference. Even the simple act of wearing the color blue in order to show support of Autism Awareness month can encourage others to ask questions, have a informative conversation, or look into the various ways that they, too, can show their support.

In the past our community has demonstrated inspiring altruism through engaging events, such as, the students at St. Rita’s School in Staten Island raising $1,200 for the American Autism Associations Change for Autism Initiative. More recently, our Miami activists just completed their first Karaoke for a Cause, which involved a lot of dancing, drinking, singing, and fun!

This month is all about awareness, and individuals are the key. Utilize the various ways of showing support and help make a difference! To learn more about the endless ways to get involved and make a difference, please look at the American Autism Association’s various options to take action.

Happy Awareness Raising!

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