April is Autism Acceptance Month. Throughout the month, we will be celebrating our community as we foster acceptance and ignite change.
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, with one in 36 children receiving a diagnosis, according to a newly-released report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to 5.8 million Autistic adults, this prevalence means that Autism likely touches a vast majority of Americans either through relationships or direct experience, and the support needs across the Autism spectrum are vastly different. During Autism Acceptance Month, the ASCV is highlighting the diversity of experiences and needs with a reminder that acceptance happens every day.
Join us as we promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance this April. We look forward to sharing important information, valuable resources, and engaging activities throughout the month, and we hope you will share, too!
Grow Awareness During Autism Acceptance Month!
This April, our theme is all about growth. Together, we’re growing an inclusive community where we can all thrive. We’re adding new programs, teaming up with more partners, and reaching more community members like you! Along the way, we hope your network is growing, your dreams are getting bigger, and the future is looking brighter.
Our 2023 Campaign is now closed! Thank you to everyone who shared their story!
- Hardywood Bunny Hop: Saturday, April 8 12-6pm. Join us at Hardywood West Creek for their annual Bunny Hop event, featuring Easter Egg hunts, train rides, a petting zoo, food, drinks, music, and more. All registration fees go to the ASCV!
- You Have No Idea Film Screening: Tuesday, April 11, 6:30pm at the Byrd Theatre. The ASCV is hosting a very special screening of You Have No Idea, featuring one family’s journey with autism through the lens of community. Don’t miss the Q&A following the film with the filmmakers and members of the family!
- Life in the Community Symposium: Saturday, April 15 at Dominion Energy’s Innsbrook Conference Center. ASCV, The Arc of Virginia, and Virginia Down Syndrome Association are hosting a symposium for parents and caregivers of adults and self-advocates to explore interests and get better connected to opportunities within the community.
Ways You Can Help Grow Awareness & Promote Acceptance
Throughout the month, we hope you will join us in growing awareness, promoting acceptance, and igniting change here in Central Virginia. Here are some things you can do:
- Participate in our Autism Acceptance Month campaign (above) – consider creating a social media post and including #ASCVAAM2023!
- Share facts to help people learn about autism.
- Autism fact sheet for younger children
- Autism fact sheet for teenagers
- Autism fact cards and quotes to place around the community – in classrooms, offices, grocery stores, car windshields, etc.
- Read books about autism.
- Watch a TV show, documentary, or movie with autistic actors or characters with autism.
- Find a creative way to display information about acceptance – create a bulletin board in your home or office, a sign in your window or yard, or a sidewalk chalk message in your driveway.
- Contact your local representatives to educate them about autism and advocate for funding to support high quality services and programming for individuals with autism. You can do this by sharing your story, your legislative priorities, and how your representative can impact your family.
- Invite the ASCV to do a presentation on autism at your school, office, community center, church, etc. Email us to schedule a date and time!
Help the ASCV Grow
During Autism Acceptance Month, we partner with local businesses to host events and raise funds to support the ASCV and our local autism community. Here’s how you can help the ASCV grow this April:
- Form a team for the ASCV 5K & Family Fun Day and fundraise together! The ASCV 5K & Family Fun Day will return to Crump Park on May 20, 2023, with our 5K run/walk, a Resource Fair, family fun, and more! Visit ascv5K.org to register.
- Create a Facebook fundraiser for the ASCV. Share how the ASCV has helped you grow, and how the funds you raise will provide important programming and resources to local individuals with autism and their families. Make a video or piece of art to accompany the fundraiser and share with friends and family through email.
- Dine Out for Charity! Visit the Sedona Taphouse in Glen Allen on any Monday in April to support the ASCV. Enjoy 50% off a great meal at Sedona Taphouse while doing your part for charity. For every HALF PRICE 8 oz. Black Angus Flat Iron Steak, 8 oz. Grilled Chicken, or 7 oz. Norwegian Salmon entrée sold, Sedona Taphouse will donate $1 to the ASCV! You must dine in on a Monday and purchase a beverage, and the promotion is limited to one entrée per person. You can’t beat that! Valid for the Glen Allen location only.
- Shop for Good with Kendra Scott April 28th! Visit in-store 4/28 from 2pm-4pm and mention the ASCV, or shop online anytime 4/28 and 4/29 with code GIVEBACK-DSAJY and 20% of your purchase will support the ASCV. kendrascott.com
- Join the ASCV! Visit https://ascv.org/membership/ to learn more about our membership options, including our new Ally Membership!
- Participate in the Kroger Rewards Program. To register, log into your account, then search for the Autism Society Central Virginia (#LS065) and click “enroll.” After you enroll, anytime you use your Kroger Rewards card, your purchase will count toward the ASCV. (From December 2022 through February of 2023, 67 households donated $330 to the ASCV!)