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April is Autism Awareness Month

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There are lots of ways to support families with autistic children in your community.

One out of every 88 children born in the United States is diagnosed with autism. That means thousands of families across the nation are challenged with caring for, educating and financing an autistic child. The toll can be both emotional and practical. So, this April—Autism Awareness Month—come alongside families in your community who are dealing with autism.

* The Autism Society has teamed up with numerous AMC Theatres to show “Sensory Friendly Films” at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Attendees can get up, walk around, dance, sing and shout throughout the film. Find out if there’s a showing near you. Sponsor a movie outing and invite families back to your church afterward for ice cream.

* Start a support group for parents of children with autism.

* The autism puzzle ribbon represents the mystery and complexity of autism (puzzle pieces); the diversity of the people with the condition (different colors); and the hope for increased research and advanced treatments (the brightness). Throughout April, have staff and pastors wear the autism puzzle ribbon pin, use the puzzle ribbon image on your church website or Facebook page and pass out ribbon magnets to raise awareness.

$3.5 to $5 Million

The average lifetime cost to care for someone with autism
—Autism Society

Try This: Parents’ Night Out

In addition to a Sunday school class designed especially for children with autism, Highest Praise Family Church in Tarpon, Fla., offers regular “Parents’ Night Out” events, providing volunteer childcare for parents with autistic children. While moms and dads enjoy some quiet alone time, children have fun with crafts, snacks and movies.

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