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Autism Acceptance

April is Autism Acceptance Month. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that causes differences in the brain that can vary greatly — no two people with autism experience it in exactly the same way. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 44 children, so PBS KIDS for Parents and PBS Learning Media have created many programs and resources to help all of us build on our empathy and acceptance of our neurodiverse neighbors.
image of boy and friend looking at tablet screen

FOR KIDS: AUTISM AND INCLUSION

PBS KIDS is committed to creating inclusive resources and models for children. This means representing autism in characters on some of your favorite programs. Kids and Grown-ups can watch these videos together to help your child better understand autism and teach them the importance of acceptance:


FOR PARENTS

If you have or know a child with ASD, you know that they learn about our world differently. Children with ASD might need extra help connecting with their emotions and support in handling everyday transitions and special interests. Explicit social skills teaching is also imperative to their success. Families have reported using Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to help children develop self-control, empathy, perspective taking and communication skills.

In the digital world we live in, it is important that children with autism are able to access technology in a productive way. This article has some tips for families to help children with autism get the most out of digital media. Additional home and family strategies can also be found here.


FOR EDUCATORS: SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH AUTISM IN YOUR CLASSROOM

It is necessary for educations to provide the proper modifications and accommodations for students with ASD to succeed in their classrooms.

It is also important that our students understand how to interact with peers with autism. PBS Learning Media provides lessons for students at elementary, middle school, and high school levels to create an inclusive classroom community.

For more strategies for working with students with disabilities, visit PBS’s Move to Include collection for more videos and activities.

Want to dig deeper? This month, focus on how you can better understand and support people with autism in your own family and community. Start by learning about identity-first language and organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Speaks, and the National Autism Association. Websites like Autism Internet Modules and the Autism ATRIUM Program offer free webinars, modules and toolkits with sign-up for educators and families working with children with autism.


Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1 - 7 with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on May 5!

Make sure to give the teachers in your life a little extra love this week. Children can color this card for their teachers or try this Teacher Appreciation Mad Libs! In honor of teacher appreciation week, viewers were asked to name their favorite PBS KIDS teacher characters. Check out the results to see if your favorite made the list!