It’s Autism Acceptance Month

It’s Autism Acceptance Month

The goal of autism acceptance month is to be more inclusive of those with autism and get to know who they are as individuals. Please welcome students who are neurodivergent learners. According to the Autism Society of America, autism impacts one in 36 people.  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is called a spectrum disorder because it affects each person differently and in various degrees from mild to severe.

Common symptoms in adults include difficulty reading social cues such as tone of voice, inside jokes, or facial expressions.  There also may be sensory sensitivities, for instance, feeling uncomfortable with bright lights, loud noises, or in crowds.  Many individuals on the spectrum function much better when they have routine to their day and know what to expect ahead of time.

Teaching strategies

Strategies for working with students on the autism spectrum:

  • Meet privately with the student and ask about their learning style and how you can support them in class.
  • Allow the student to work alone, if requested.
  • Use visual learning strategies as much as possible, such as pictures, YouTube videos, drawings, or graphs.
  • Avoid unnecessary changes. If changes to the daily routine need to be made, provide advance warning to the class.

For more classroom instructional strategies, visit PANDA’s website at

Additional resources

Gain more knowledge from Temple Grandin, a famous ASD speaker, by watching the 18-minute YouTube video titled “Educating Different Kinds of Minds” on Ted Talks:

Adults who suspect they may be on the autism spectrum could find it difficult to find organizations who diagnose adults.  Fraser is an organization in Minneapolis that diagnoses adults:

For more autism community resources, go to:

To learn more about autism acceptance month go to:

Wendy Sweeney, MA Licensed Psychologist, PANDA Manger PANDA - MN ABE Physical And Nonapparent Disability Assistance