Autism Awareness is all year here

April 01, 2022

4.1.2022 Lighting up the month with Awareness and Acceptance!

Here we all are – well, most of us, anyway! Thanks to Devendra for taking the pictures! You can see how hard it is to get everyone’s best look in the same picture!

Teachers, please send any BLUE pictures to add to the gallery to VickiR@Crossroadcenter.org.


3.30.2022 Autism Awareness MEANS Acceptance and Inclusion.

Every April, Crossroads celebrates World Autism Month, starting with Autism Day on April 2nd. At Crossroads, staff and students will ALSO wear blue on Friday, April 1st, since the 2nd is a Saturday this year.

There’s some division out there about Autism Month – whether as an community advocating for those with autism are making this month about awareness, as it was originally intended, or are we pushing more for acceptance. Lots of people see it as one or the other.

At our Crossroads staff meeting just this morning this subject was discussed a bit. There are, it seems, 3 aims of Autism Month; 1) to educate and bring awareness to others in the world about how autism looks and behaves, 2) to offer help, treatment and therapy as needed to individuals with A.S.D., and 3) promote a non-judgmental acceptance of individuals with A.S.D. and inclusion; everyone has a place.

Here’s where we weigh in: WHY THE DIVIDE? We are trying to tackle all three aims.

1.  Every cause has a month, a week, a day… Autism has April. April is when all of us who are involved with autism and A.S.D. (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to show up and tell the world about autism. Remembering that when the World Autism Awareness Day began 15 years ago, the prevalence rate lingered around 1 in 125 children, where as today it is 1 in 44. People, doctors, teachers, parents… the world has come so far in being AWARE and knowing about autism over the last 15 years. Still, we have to press on – education is our heart and soul at Crossroads, so we believe in spreading awareness not only of what autism is, but also what helps. How to include, invite. How to teach and thereby invite into a new part of the world. What to do when you see a mom struggling at the grocery store. What to do when a child is wandering in your neighborhood. These are REAL scenarios that happen all the time. Awareness is more than that this month, as all fronts combine to educate others AND each other about what is happening today, now.

2. The students we see are children, small, precious beings, many without communication, language, and with painful, troubling behaviors. Not troubling only for those around the child, but for the child. It can’t feel fine to head-bang when someone says “no,” nor is it the right thing to say “yes” to everything a child wants. Skills learned are HELPFUL. They allow a child to ask for his wants and needs, to cope with stress, to calm herself. That’s what we mean when we talk about what works. We have a tough job here, however, what we do WORKS. Our students make progress and become connected to the world around them- to their families, especially – for the first time.  We use this month as an opportunity to teach others and eachother what is working, what is helpful, how to be helpful and not make things worse. We accept and love every child unconditionally, along with his and her parents and families. We do not accept that our children are destined to grow up in pain and alone because of this diagnosis.

3. There are a lot of folks who just want to be left alone with their neuro-diversity, advocating that people with autism are smarter, more able to be detailed, more creative, and so on. This is surely the case for many people. Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einsten, Michaelangelo and many more individuals known to have autism are hallmarked for their intense intelligence, creative genius, and drive. Here at Crossroads, we have had many children grow up and excel in college, work, and in life at large. We are here to cheer on our kids, knowing that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds on and also knowing that we can NOT leave them alone, no way, because the kids WE see are struggling with pieces of  their lives that we cannot sit by and watch them struggle with. We must help them, and going back to the points above in 2, we know how to help get them to where they can go. While we are teaching, we are also appreciating the way each of our children sees the world, loving the uniqueness of each. But we aren’t going to stop teaching, not with the kids we see.

So back to our mission, Autism Awareness and Acceptance is an all-year gig. It is more than a day, a week or a month; indeed it is a lifetime. But we are going to join all the others in this important journey this month to speak up for awareness and acceptance and education.

Please help us by sharing your stories, and letting us know your own perspective! Scroll down to see posts from past years.


3.29.2021 Returning to this blog-spot as we head into April, designated as Autism Awareness Month.

There’s been a shift in the way Autism Awareness Month is being unrolled this year, from awareness solely, to acceptance and inclusion. While awareness is the first step towards inclusion, organizations like the Autism Society and Autism Speaks have been working on increasing acceptance for individuals with autism by others, through the vehicle of awareness and education.

Autism Awareness Month is the month of April each year, but it actually kicks off on April 2nd with World Autism Awareness Day, which this year, 2021, falls on Friday. It is always marked with the color blue. Those of us in the Autism community are encouraged to wear blue, light blue lights, and “light it up blue” to shine a light on autism and raise awareness. This year, blue will increasingly encourage acceptance of individuals living with autism.

It’s worth noting that it has been a year since the CDC first reported an autism rate of 1 in 54 children. This was reported in March, 2020. Scroll to read the release below.

From the https://www.autism-society.org/ 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.autism-society.org/

https://www.autismawarenessmonth.org/

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that affects essential human behaviors such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, imagination, self-regulation, and the ability to establish relationships with others. We recognize that providing educational materials of signs and symptoms can promote awareness and spark empathy, acceptance, and change.

— Autism Society of America

CELEBRATE DIFFERENCES BY Promoting Acceptance Acceptance comes with understanding, and while individuals and families living with autism live this life every day, there is still a need for factual education and awareness for the general public. Knowledge promotes acceptance because it allows people to understand how to be more inclusive, and build more supportive experiences.

— Autism Society of America

 We are calling upon our staff, students, families, and friends to wear blue on 4/2. Use social media to share pictures and stories encouraging inclusion and acceptance. Please use the tags #LookCrossroads #CelebrateDifferences #AutismAwareness. Thanks! 


May 1, 2020 The CDC first now reports an autism rate of 1 in 54 children, as of March, 2020.

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0326-autism-prevalence-rises.html

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May 1, 2019 As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, here at Crossroads, autism awareness will continue. But in addition to awareness, much more than that will also continue.

As we head out of April, which is designated as Autism Awareness Month, and begin the new month of  May, the attention of many will turn to other causes and needs. As important as they may be, it’s necessary to note that here at Crossroads and for so many others, Autism awareness is a full-time gig.

Supporters of our mission include family members, employees, and the school districts and communities we work with. Supporters include individuals like you, people who care and want to make a difference.

You  are aware that autism has no calendar. No boundaries. You realize that what we are doing here is much larger than awareness or acceptance. Students here are building skills that are life-changing. Through our teaching, using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, our students are learning how to communicate, how to play and make friends, and self-help skills that will carry them into their future. It is our mission at Crossroads to support the students and families we serve so that they can lead a full and productive life and we will continue this mission well beyond the month of April.

It’s been a year since the CDC released new rates for Autism prevalence.

With growing numbers, we at Crossroads Center for Children remain ever determined to pursue the mission of helping each and every child we serve to prepare for success in their lives. We believe fully in the science and research of Applied Behavior Analysis in carrying out the work of providing education to our students, many of whom have diagnoses of autism.

ABA is our focus because we believe that it is the one educational philosophy and approach that is the most helpful to our students. There is extensive scientific research behind ABA that fuels our vision that every child we serve will have a full and productive life.

We urge others to learn about and use ABA techniques, and to make a difference that goes far beyond awareness for the whole year through.

Your help in this work is so very much appreciated.

April, 2018: CDC Releases Updated Prevalence Rates for Autism

New CDC Prevalence Rates for Autism – 1 in 59 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its biennial update on the prevalence rate of autism today. The new rate is based on data collected by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) during a 2014 survey of 325,483 children across 11 states.  Links to articles published by Spectrum News and Autism Speaks  are provided below. Spectrum News: New Report Shows Slight Uptick in Autism Prevalence Autism Speaks: CDC Increases Estimate of Autism’s Prevalence by 15 percent, to 1 in 59
Matching DonationsIntegrating art projects into classroom themes.