This April, the Autism Society of America celebrates differences as it works to build an inclusive society where individuals with autism live fully through connection and acceptance. Together, with other national autism organizations, they are leading the legislative effort for lawmakers to federally and globally designate April as Autism Acceptance Month, a shift from the commonly used phrase “Autism Awareness Month.” While we will always work to educate others about autism, words matter -- the need for acceptance is greater than ever, as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life. The Autism Society understands the importance of fostering acceptance to ignite change through improved support and opportunities in education, employment, accessible housing, affordable health care and comprehensive long-term services and supports.
Inclusion begins with acceptance. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults. The Autism Society works every day to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by autism. Each April, we celebrate Autism Acceptance Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change. (https://www.autismawarenessmonth.org/)
Turtle Wing Foundation layed the groundwork for Autism Acceptance Month by collaborating with all three county judges and commissioners’ courts in their service area to implement autism acceptance proclamations. The Turtle Wing service area includes Fayette, Colorado, Lavaca and surrounding counties. Then the month-long celebration is kicked off with Turtle Wing Day on April 1, 2021. On this day, the community is encouraged to wear their Turtle Wing gear and celebrate those they know and love who are autistic and to encourage everyone to be more inclusive. The month of April is then jam packed with activities to elevate the communities understanding and support of the foundation’s efforts. These activities include: #MakeOurMatch which is a $5,000 challenge sponsored by Chuck Brown Ford of Schulenburg; at least thirteen Autism Awareness Games with area high school softball and baseball teams; a showing of “The Temple Grandin Story” at the Lyric Theatre in Flatonia and a Zoom visit with Temple herself on April 10; an art show opening featuring Grant Manier on April 10 at the Gallery at the Old Stanzel; and it all concludes with the 10th Annual Jack Hooper Day at the Ballpark and Homerun Derby on May 1, 2021.
Turtle Wing Foundation has been providing Early Intervention, Supplemental Services and Community Education & Advocacy programming to children and families with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs since 2012. Annually, over 300 children are receiving direct services with thousands more benefiting indirectly through education and advocacy work. For more information or to schedule Turtle Wing to come visit with your organization contact Susie Shank at (979)505-5090, visit the Turtle Wing Facebook page @turtlewingfoundation, or the website www.turtlewingfoundation.org.