Snip-Its

April is World Autism Acceptance Month

April 10, 2024

This year, the White House and POTUS proclaimed April 2, 2024, World Autism Acceptance Day. In the proclamation, the President called upon all Americans, “to lean more about autism to improve early diagnosis, to learn more about the experience of autistic people from autistic people, and to build more welcoming and inclusive communities to support autistic individuals.”

At Snip-its Haircuts for Kids we try to make the experience inclusive for everyone. We are always shooting for happy haircut adventures, but we strive to create a safe and friendly space where kiddos can scream and cry or laugh and smile without parents feeling stressed or embarrassed.

We have kid bonding training, as well as autism certification and training – to learn how to make all kids, including autistic kids or kids with sensory sensitivities, feel comfortable about coming to the salon. A nervous kiddo (or parent) can walk through or pre-visit the salon. We also offer step-by-step description and explanation of the tools used during a haircut adventure.

A young boy blowing bubbles while sitting in a haircut chair next to a Snip-its stylist.

Did You Know?         

Autistic thought patterns, sensory perceptions, social interactions, language processing, and emotional regulation all develop differently than those of people who are allistic (not autistic).

Autism is a type of brain wiring that processes information differently than typical brains do. Today, autism is described as a developmental disability because modern societies operate in ways that often disadvantage autistic people.

Autistic people are neurodiverse (as opposed to neurotypical). Other neurodiverse groups include people with ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. Harvard Health says neurodiversity is, “The idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) By the Numbers:

  • 1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism. Since 2000, the Autism prevalence rate has been consistently increasing from one in 150 to one in 36.
  • The diagnosis rate for autism is rising by 10-17% a year.
  • Over the next decade, an estimated 700K to 1.1 million + autistic teens will enter adulthood.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Boys are 4 times more likely than girls to have autism.
  • Anxiety orders affect up to 40% of autistic individuals.
  • 69% of autistic children have average to above-average IQ scores.

*Autism Society 2024

Autism Acceptance Month Timeline:

  • 1990s – The neurodiversity movement emerges, aiming to increase acceptance and inclusion of all people while embracing neurological differences.
  • 2008 – The United Nations General Assembly announced April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day.
  • 2011 – in an attempt at breaking the stigma of autism in mainstream media, autism activist Paula C. Durbin-Westby founded Autism Awareness Month. A month-long event every April to support autistic people and celebrate their differences.
  • 2012 – 2021 – Autism Awareness Month grows to become a huge national event, with large companies around the world pledging their support in raising awareness about the barriers autistic people face.
  • 2021 – Autism Awareness Month is renamed Autism Acceptance Month, with a renewed focus on pushing through legislation to support autistic people in their daily lives. This includes campaigns for autistic people to have full support in accessing services from childhood through to adulthood, with schooling, healthcare, and housing being key campaign points.

 

How to Observe Autism Acceptance Month:

  • Participate in local groups’ activities.
  • Read books about autism or with autistic characters and narrators to your children.
  • Watch movies and shows featuring autistic characters.
  • Donate to a local organization or school.
  • Listen to parents with autistic children and the neurodivergent community.
  • Support autistic owned businesses.
  • Be a year-round ally.

In 2024, Autism Acceptance Month is a great way to shed light on the diverse experiences and perspectives within the autism community. Everyone can support and amplify the voices of autistic individuals and their families. Everyone can reach out to the autism community and ask questions to create a more inclusive society.