Historical & Current Events dictionary

Autism Acceptance Month

[ aw-tiz-uhm ak-sep-tuhns muhnth ]

What is Autism Acceptance Month?

Autism Acceptance Month is a month-long observance focused on supporting people with autism spectrum disorders.

Observance of the month often involves educational events centered on learning what it means to be autistic and about the difficulties and discrimination that autistic people face.

Autism Acceptance Month was created as an alternative to the widely observed Autism Awareness Month. Some autistic people and advocates object to the focus of Autism Awareness Month and some of the organizations that promote it. In particular, they criticize the goals of some organizations as ableist due to the perception that they treat autistic and other neurodivergent people as needing to be cured.

Sometimes, the month is called World Autism Month. 

When is Autism Acceptance Month?

Autism Acceptance Month is observed during the month of April.

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Related words

Autism Awareness Month, Greta Thunberg

Where does Autism Acceptance Month come from?

In 1972, the Autistic Society established National Autistic Children’s Week as part of its efforts to educate people about autism spectrum disorders and how to support autistic people. This evolved into a month-long observance known as Autism Awareness Month, which became widely observed throughout the autism community.

In the 2010s, many individuals and organizations, most prominently the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, began to shift toward observing the month as Autism Acceptance Month. Use of this name was formally adopted by the Autistic Society in 2021. Along with the change in the name, many have called for autism advocacy campaigns to prioritize acceptance and to be refocused around the viewpoints and experiences of autistic people.

Examples of Autism Acceptance Month

April is RAPIDLY approaching. This autism acceptance month please use the resources and time you have to elevate autistic people's voices. The very last thing you should do is add to the voices that come out in April to speak over autistics. #ActuallyAutistic #AprilCanBeSuperGrim
@DrMBotha, March 22, 2021
Broke: Autism Awareness Month Woke: Autism Acceptance Month Bespoke: Autistic Pride Month
@stevemlieberman, March 27, 2019
April has long been known as “Autism Awareness Month,” but advocates are pushing this time around for a federal designation of the month focused on acceptance instead. The Autism Society of America is spearheading an effort calling on local, state and federal leaders across the nation to name April “Autism Acceptance Month.”
Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop, March 23, 2021
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More information and context on Autism Acceptance Month

Did you know … ?

  • The word autism is common in casual use but is no longer used in a formal way by clinical professionals. The term autism spectrum disorder is now widely preferred.

What are other words used in discussion of Autism Acceptance Month?

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Autism Acceptance Month like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Autism Acceptance Month that will help our users expand their word mastery.