Every April people around the world raise awareness about autism. Global landmarks, businesses and homeowners are encouraged to light up their properties in blue and some people wear blue clothing to show their support for autism. April may be designated to inform the public about autism but our families cope with autism every day. I believe we can do more to increase support for our families.
As a grandparent, I suggest that we personally expand outreach in our communities and share information about autism whenever there are opportunities. Revealing to others that our families are affected by autism improves understanding and helps to eliminate the stigma some feel is associated with having a relative with autism. In my experience, sometimes just saying “autism” out loud in public draws interest, even from strangers who either have family members with autism or who are interested in learning more about how it impacts families. Speaking publically about how our families are affected is a simple and effective way to encourage others to increase their understanding and support for autism year-round.