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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley

Autism Awareness Month - we need to do better!

This may be controversial, but as the mother of a child diagnosed with autism, I do not feel celebratory during Autism Awareness Month in April.

Is it truly awareness or another Hallmark commercial opportunity to sell T-shirts on Etsy or Amazon? Or perhaps a little marching parade around a school block?  Or is it an acceptance that things can’t be better?

"But if you are talking real action-oriented awareness, like: supporting children from a young age to engage with others who are struggling, or fostering a genuine interest in others in getting to know and appreciate our kids - bring it!"

We need ‘awareness’ for the sake of:

  1. More financial supports,

  2. More skilled therapists,

  3. More compassion,

  4. More opportunities,

  5. More inclusivity,

  6. More appreciation,

  7. More interventions that include a holistic lens,

  8. More medical curiosity!

For many autism families, this month can be a reminder that their kids don’t really matter. The other 11 months of the year should be just as important. It can feel like a mainstream obligation – it’s all lip service. It really doesn’t mean much if real changes aren’t on the table.

This opinion piece was provided by Registered Social Worker, Karin Francis. Karin provides support to families who have children with autism and other special needs. You can find her bio here:

To learn more, or to book a free consultation with anyone on our team, call us at 519.751.0728 or email

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