Happy Autism Acceptance Month! Videos & activities for early learners & caregivers

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

April can be a challenging month for many autistic people. Many organizations that aren’t run with or by autistic leaders have campaigns about “lighting it up blue”—furthering stereotypes that autism only affects boys—or about curing autism. These organizations often push for autism awareness.

Many autistic people, however, prefer to celebrate autism acceptance. Created 12 years ago by advocate Paula C. Durbin-Westby, Autism Acceptance Month month is devoted to celebrating autistic people and autistic experiences.

In this interview, Durbin-Westby explains, “The word ‘acceptance’ is much stronger than ‘tolerance,’ especially the begrudging sort of tolerance I saw so often. One of the definitions of acceptance is ‘positive welcome and belonging.'”

You also may see campaigns like “#WearRedInstead,” created by #ActuallyAutistic people, or Go Gold, also a movement created by autistic people. 

Whatever you call April, or what color you wear, the most important thing is to listen to autistic people about their experiences and preferences. They are the experts in advocacy and supports!

Watch these videos

We’ve created several videos that use visual supports for activities and storytimes, just like we do in in-person supported classes.

In this video, I use Proloquo2Go to retell one of my favorite books, The Seals on the Bus.

My colleague Genevieve and I have created a field trip for elementary students about disability understanding and advocacy, using framework and activities from The Nora Project and We Move Together (pdf). This is a short introduction to it, called Disabilities Are Normal.

Learn from these autistic experts

Read these books

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.