This April is Autism Acceptance Month. It was created many years ago to shine a light on autism and what autistic people go through, initially called Autism Awareness Month. More information about its origins can be found in a blog post we wrote last year:

Every year, you will usually see all kinds of organisations put out some content for Autism Acceptance Month. Some of it will be simple messages wishing everyone a happy Acceptance Month, while other content could include videos and blog posts featuring autistic people or their parents/partners/colleagues talking about autism.

Usually, you will see this sort of thing throughout the month, but often, it will get published in the first week. Some of it is genuinely useful, but for the other 11 months of the year, you won’t see or hear much about autism from many organisations.

How we view Autism Acceptance Month

April can be quite a stressful time for many autistic people. Being bombarded by content on social media, websites, TV and elsewhere about autism can overwhelm at the best of times, even just for the first week. Often, that content focuses on the problems that many autistic people face, without offering any solutions.

The problem with awareness months is that, once they come to an end, issues highlighted often get forgotten about quickly. In the Autism AIM team, we aim to make sure those issues you are experiencing are raised constantly. Whether on our website, on social media, in forums, at events or when speaking to you at our Autism Hubs, we strive to make things better.

Areas like accessing services, getting mental health support and employment are among the most pressing issues faced by autistic adults we work with. They affect autistic people all year round. A wide range of services and settings can be inaccessible at any time, whether it’s this month or at the end of the year.

Keep autistic people’s needs in mind

We see every month as Autism Acceptance Month. In all aspects of our work, we want to make sure that autistic adults’ needs are accepted and met. We are there to ensure autistic people’s voices are heard and their rights and wishes are acted on.

Many people do find awareness days, weeks and months useful. They can often shine a light on issues and groups of disadvantaged people. We fully understand the need for them, including Autism Acceptance Month. We often put out something big on our website (like this blog post) or plan for work like information events during April.

This helps us to reach as many autistic adults in Leeds as possible, not to mention family members and professionals. However, we want to make sure that autistic adults’ needs are considered all the time. We promote our service throughout the year and are there for autistic adults with little or no funded support every month, not just in April!