Woman hugging an Autistic man both smiling

Autism Acceptance Month: Inclusion and Respect

April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to celebrate and promote the acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum.

While awareness of autism has increased in recent years, acceptance is still an area that requires attention and growth. Autism Acceptance Month aims to educate the public about autism, promote understanding and inclusion, and advocate for the rights of those on the autism spectrum. 

This month provides an opportunity for individuals, families, organizations, and communities to come together to celebrate neurodiversity and promote a more inclusive society. In this blog post, we will explore what Autism Acceptance Month means and how we can all work towards promoting acceptance and inclusion for those on the autism spectrum.

IDD participant and Caregiver laughing together

Embracing Autism Acceptance Month: Fostering Inclusion and Respect

Difference Between Autism Awareness and Acceptance

Autism acceptance and autism awareness are two distinct concepts that have gained much attention in recent years. While both aim to promote a better understanding of autism, they have different goals and approaches.

Autism awareness campaigns aim to educate people who may not have prior knowledge of autism and promote early diagnosis and intervention. These campaigns focus on spreading information about autism, its characteristics, and how it affects individuals. The goal of autism awareness is to increase knowledge and understanding of the condition, reduce stigma, and improve access to services and resources.

On the other hand, autism acceptance is focused on creating a world where autistic individuals are accepted for who they are, without trying to change or “cure” them. The goal of autism acceptance is to promote inclusion, celebrate diversity, and encourage society to value and respect the unique perspectives and abilities of autistic individuals.

According to Autism Society, autism acceptance means recognizing that autistic individuals are not broken or in need of fixing, but rather are a part of human diversity. Acceptance means respecting the individuality of each person on the autism spectrum and embracing the strengths and challenges that come with autism.

Several organizations and advocates are promoting autism acceptance as an alternative to traditional autism awareness campaigns. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) promotes autism acceptance to create a more inclusive and accessible society. ASAN believes that society should value and embrace the unique perspectives and abilities of autistic individuals.

While autism awareness is focused on educating people about autism, autism acceptance seeks to create a society that embraces and celebrates diversity in all its forms. Both are important, but autism acceptance takes a more positive and respectful view of autism and seeks to create a society that values and respects the strengths and challenges of autistic individuals.

Our Commitment to Autism Acceptance Month

OneWell IDD Care Services is dedicated to promoting autism acceptance and inclusion in all areas of our services. We recognize that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, face unique challenges and barriers to accessing quality care and services. 

Our commitment to promoting autism acceptance means that we provide care that takes into account the individual needs and preferences of each person we serve. Our team members are trained to provide support and care that is tailored to the unique needs of individuals with autism, including sensory needs and communication styles. 

We work closely with families, caregivers, and other professionals to promote understanding and advocacy for those on the autism spectrum. We believe that promoting autism acceptance is essential to providing quality care and services to individuals with IDD, and we are proud to be a part of this important movement.

What Autism Acceptance Month Means to Us

“To me, autism acceptance means that one day there will be a time that we don’t need to use such a phrase because this means that it is just accepted. It will be something that everyone is accustomed to and won’t think twice otherwise."
Cindy Seemiller
Senior Director
"Autism Acceptance to me means- treating everyone with the same respect and dignity they deserve. Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are not different, they simply see things in a different light.”
Laura McBride
Regional Manager
“Autism acceptance to me would be, to look at individuals as not being different but being the same as everyone else! I feel once society accepts not everyone in the world is the same and can remove categories or judgment; it can only open awareness and individuals can be accepted for who they are not what disability they might have.”
Stacie Capps
Regional Manager
“What Autism acceptance means to me? It means that we all have our own differences, quirks, experiences, and challenges in life. The thing that we all have in common is that we are all human, we are all deserving of understanding, we all should be shown respect, and that we are all worthy of love.”
Charles Nightlinger
IDD Program Specialist
“I feel as though with autism some are still not aware of the neurodevelopmental condition. We first must understand that every case is not the same and try to understand individuals better. We should continue to show that we will always promote/ encourage growth in everyday activities. Being accepted by individuals that are slightly different from you can go a long way. I’ve always included anyone that’s felt left out and encouraged them to use their voice as means of communication. Sometimes you just need a little push to succeed.”
Aminata Smythe
IDD Program Specialist
“Autism acceptance means acknowledging the unique strengths and challenges of individuals with autism. It means recognizing that autism is a neurodivergent way of experiencing the world, and that this difference is something to be understood and respected. Autism acceptance also means challenging harmful stereotypes and stigmas surrounding autism and advocating for a more inclusive society that values and respects the contributions of all individuals, regardless of their neurodivergent status. It means creating a world in which people with autism are not just tolerated but truly welcomed and embraced for who they are. For those not accepting, learning from, and building with neurodivergent individuals, you’re behind the times. Society prospers when kind hearts keep innovation and whole community care as the focus.”
Bailey Carey
Executive VP of OneWell
“I asked a dear friend of mine whose son is Autistic. To me it means to treat my son as an equal by understanding his *quirks,* not trying to change them.”
Lisa Terek-Croyle
RECR SPE - IDD Recruitment Specialist
“In my own words, growing up with 2 step brothers who were diagnosed and raising them until they were in their teen years, it means to have a sense of understanding as to why someone is acting a certain way or speaking a certain way. It means to be compassionate and patient, as someone diagnosed with Autism does not see the world as someone who is not. It means a whole new sense of educational tools are now available to those who want to research and retain knowledge in order to support and understand loved ones or those close to us. It also means a sense of pride, seeing a loved one who may struggle with the symptoms of autism, whether they be acute or not, we can watch as they overcome those struggles, how they learn to love themselves no matter the diagnosis, and knowing how strong they are to push through every day.”
Kayla Nanna
IDD Program Specialist

Autism acceptance is not just a movement, it’s a necessity. The world needs to be more inclusive, welcoming, and understanding of autistic individuals and everyone with a form of IDD. By getting involved with autism acceptance, you can help to create a more compassionate and equitable society for all. You can make a difference by educating yourself and others, supporting organizations that work toward autism acceptance, and advocating for policies that promote inclusivity and accessibility. 

Together, we can break down the barriers that prevent individuals with autism from reaching their full potential and create a world where everyone is valued and celebrated for who they are. So, what are you waiting for? Join the autism acceptance movement today and help make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with autism and their families.



Callie Dresser

Social Media Coordinator

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