It used to be that people seemed to only talk about autism during April because of Autism Awareness Month. However, I've noticed this past year that we hear about it in the news more and more throughout other months of the year.
I try not to get in the middle of controversial fights over causes, treatments, which group deserves funding over another. Instead - I simply want to be a small part in bringing awareness to something that is close to my heart. I never set out to be an advocate for autism awareness, but three years ago it started when my book Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Superhero with Autism won the MeeGenius Author Challenge and suddenly I was thrust into that world. And I've loved it!
My book has now been read around the world. I hear from people all over how it has helped to share the message to not be afraid of someone because they are different (especially not to be afraid of a child with autism). I smile every time I see someone else download the book at MeeGenius or buy it on Amazon because I know it means it's touching one more person. And I'm thrilled that people have responded to the sequel that talks about children with autism going to the doctor or the dentist.
While people begin to discuss it more outside of April, it's still this month that I stay the busiest traveling to schools and being involved wherever I can with awareness. I already started this year with a school in Monmouth County New Jersey yesterday where I shared both books with children K-5th grade. What awesome questions they had! In two weeks, I hit another school and I have other events planned throughout April.
Tomorrow is Autism Awareness Day and I will be at 2 Sweet in Woodland Park, New Jersey from 3-6 pm where they are having an awareness day ALL day long with proceeds going to autism organizations. I'll be signing books and also donating a portion of proceeds along with 2 Sweet to the two organizations near and dear to that Bakery owner's heart. Surfers Healing & POAC.
Use this time to bring up autism in your family around the dinner table. Discuss it with your kids. Feel free to check out my website about our superhero with autism. Just get a dialogue going with your own kids so that they realize children with autism have many of the same likes as any other child. As the principal of the school I was at yesterday said, "children with autism are more alike to other children than they are different."