Put on the Puzzle Ribbon and support Autism Awareness Month

What is Autism Awareness Month? How does a puzzle ribbon figure into celebrating this event? Autism Awareness Month is celebrated every April, allowing families impacted by autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to say they are affected by autism. The Autism Society, along with DDD NJ is working to increase the public's awareness of this condition.

The puzzle ribbon is one of the most visible symbols people can put on their clothing. It symbolizes the daily life of people with autism, as well as the successes they achieve. “How does pinning on a puzzle ribbon help those affected by autism?” This is a good question. By wearing the puzzle pin, those who wear it help to increase the public’s awareness of autism, one by one. Because of its recognizability, they show their support of children with autism when they pin it to their clothing.

As of the time of this article, autism impacts one in 88 children – in America. Impact of Autism on Families Children with autism are not always aware of safety issues or how they can protect themselves. Capitol Care, a behavioral health program for individuals with mental health disorders works to make safety a major part of the residential services offered to families affected by autism. DDD NJ knows that some of the behaviors related to autism may increase the level of danger to children with autism. If a child experiences a behavioral melt-down in public, those who have never had to deal with autism may not know how to deal with the behaviors or what to do to keep the child safe. For this reason, staff members work with family members, teachers, neighbors, caretakers and extended family to develop safety-related actions as responses to possible situations in the community. 

In the home, children are at increased risk of accidents and injuries. For this reason, the Autism Safety Project has developed strategies aimed at children and adults with autism. One of these resources is a video and related workbook that young adults, older teenagers and parents use. Called “Safe Signals,” the program teaches fire safety and burn prevention. Children with autism learn to respond to vinyl clings as they learn safety messages in the home. Because autism impacts the entire family, it is important for the general public to learn about this condition so they can take positive action and spread the message, increasing awareness throughout the community.

Everyone who learns about autism can contact their state and federal representatives, asking them to “vote 4 autism” when bills are presented. Men, women, youth and older teens can also participate in autism awareness-related events alongside DDD NJ during Autism Awareness Month. Because children with autism are not always able to sit in a darkened theater to watch a movie, this is one way of increasing awareness of this condition. The Autism Society has begun to work with AMC Theatres to present movies that are sensory-friendly to these families – a way for children with autism to take part in a simple pleasure.

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