All over the world, people wear blue to raise awareness for autism, a neurological condition characterized by reduced social relationships, communication skills, or anomalous behavior. 1 out of 54 children is affected by this disorder, making autism one of the most pressing global health issues. The incurability of autism makes acceptance and empathy for people suffering from it especially important. To make this possible, these four women-led organizations have drawn attention to the issue and attempt to make a difference.
Autism awareness and supporting children with special educational needs are among the top priorities of Love Serving Autism. Still, they come with a twist, as their methods are based on tennis. Lisa Pugliese -LaCroix, the organization’s founder, was inspired to start her own non-profit after working as a program director at another charity. Her dream of “making a difference in the lives of children and adults with autism through the sport of tennis” became the mission of Love Serving Autism.
In April, the international Autism Awareness Month, her team is organizing several webinars focused on training people on how to connect with people with spectrum disorders. During these virtual sessions, they will introduce viewers to coaching and tennis methods to bring people closer together.
Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that supports people with autism in various ways. Their work includes funding clinical research and development for improved treatment, medical equipment, and social care, organizing funds for the world’s largest open-access autism genome database, and supporting the community with free information.
The founders, Suzanne and Bob Wright, were inspired to start this organization by their grandson’s diagnosis. Since 2005, they have helped raise nearly $4 billion for this cause. Through their online, autism-friendly events, they allow parents to accept, understand, and raise their children living with autism.
3. Yes She Can
Marjorie Madfis, the founder of Yes She Can, a genuinely unique non-profit that helps women with autism, has a mission for April, Autism Acceptance Month. Her team supports women living with ASD to express themselves and help others understand how they see the world. Their ultimate goal is to introduce them to the job market and find companies that accept workers with autism.
In the difficult times of the global pandemic, the New York-based organization is helping remote women learn the skills they need to work through autism-friendly sessions.
According to MHAF, “Every 10 minutes in the U.S., a child with autism becomes an adult with autism.” The team, led by JaLynn Prince, works tirelessly to provide people with this lifelong neurological deviation the right tools to live healthy, socially integrated lives.
The foundation’s main goal is to raise awareness of the lifelong challenges that autism causes and create opportunities for these individuals to access quality housing, healthcare, jobs, and education.
During Autism Awareness Month, MHAF focuses on its autism After 21 campaign, providing adults living with the disorder a platform to express themselves. The campaign highlights how the community can help these individuals live everyday lives.
Many wonderful women-led organizations support people living with this condition. During April, Autism Awareness Month, you can show your support by wearing light blue, and if you can, volunteer to help these teams achieve their excellent and caring goals.