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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

The United Nations declared the first official World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2008.

Since that time, April 2 has been the designated day to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder.

The State of Qatar and Autism Speaks spearheaded World Autism Awareness


10 ways to honor Autism Awareness Month
Posted by
Kathie Harrington, MA, CCC-SLP
Occupation: SLP, author, speaker, mother of a son with autism.
Setting: Las Vegas, NV

1.Brainstorm with other SLPs about one child in particular, not at school or in the clinic, but over a cup of coffee or a soda.

2.Find a new app on your iPad or iPhone that you can use with a client with ASD.

3.Take a client with ASD on a field trip and explore a new environment together.

4.Find three new motivators to use with students with ASD. I scavenger around in dollar stores myself.

5.Make a bulletin board for your room/office that announces April as Autism Awareness Month.

6.Call one or all of your clients with ASD on the telephone and have a conversation. I would suggest telling them ahead of time that you will call them tonight to talk about ___________.

7.Turn on some soft music, sit back for 10 minutes, close your eyes, and allow your mind to drift into the world of a person with autism. They are sensory people, so you must see, hear, feel, smell, and perceive the world as they would.

8.If you team in a school/clinic with teachers, PTs or OTs, call a 15-minute "Autism Awareness Chat." Hey, buy a dozen cookies and make it a friendly, mind-freeing experience for everyone. Fifteen minutes may lead to more, and a chat in April may lead to one in May and June.

9.Invite the parents/caregivers of your clients with ASD into the therapy setting. Demonstrate strategies and pick one or two that you want the parent to carry over in the home environment.

10.Number 10 is probably the most important of all: read something new about autism, such as a story, poem, research, therapy strategy, etc, etc. Always be informed because as SLPs we are #2 in line to help children/adults with ASD. Who is #1? You tell me.
"Speech pathologists make good things happen."

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