Nearly 25 years ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort not only to promote awareness of all individuals on the autism spectrum, but also to promote “inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest quality of life.”
Since then, April has been deemed national Autism Awareness month – a cause close to my heart, particularly since many of Aunt Laurie’s high quality products in our handmade gift baskets, such as candles, scrubs and hand sanitizers, are made by individuals with autism.
Furthermore, I’m not proudly serving as on Action for Autism’s board of directors, an organization that provides a unique facility where autistic children can learn, grow and reach their fullest potential. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, they are expanding into the Lowcountry/Bluffton, South Carolina area, looking to open up a school for autistic children and young adults soon.
In just a short amount of time, I have not only learned more about autism than I previously understood (check out these autism facts), but have been repeatedly humbled by the amazing work being done by individuals at local, regional and national organizations to increase disability awareness and ensure acceptance and inclusion in schools, communities, etc.
I’ve also had the pleasure of bringing my dog, Trapper – certified through Therapy Dogs International and Leader Dogs for the Blind – to visit autistic children at Autism, Inc. in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Watching these children interact with Trapper was a true delight and an important reminder of one of the central tenets behind Autism Awareness: that not all autistic individuals are alike. Some were playful, others were timid. Some were talkative, others were quietly observing.
But, not one of them was “lesser” than the other. They, just like each one of us, are unique and special, with different behaviors, talents and gifts. And they, just like us, deserve to be accepted, included, appreciated and valued – four of the key themes behind Autism Awareness Month.
“We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts,” the Autism Society writes on their website.
Indeed, there’s a reason the Autism Awareness Ribbon is a puzzle pattern with different colors, reflecting the complexity of the autism spectrum and diversity of the people and families living with the condition.
As a company whose mission is to inspire others to acknowledge the human value in everyone and to help all disabled individuals feel valued and loved, we are a proud supporter of Autism Awareness Month and hope you’ll join us in movement toward acceptance and appreciation of all such individuals.
For more information on how to get involved in Autism Awareness Month, please see here.
Please note: our gift baskets are handmade by individuals with disabilities. For a full list of organizations that your purchase supports, please see here.