Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month

4 April 2024

April is Autism Acceptance Month and on the 10th April, Autism New Zealand is holding an event “Hoods Up, Volume Down”. They’ve partnered with SAS Sport to bring their 2024 edition #hoodsup hoodie. Why hoodies? Many members of the Autistic community use hoodies to reduce sensory input. Plus their hoodies and t-shirts are super soft and very comfy, which can also be helpful for those with sensory sensitivities. Find out more about this event, and how you can support Autism New Zealand here:

Here’s some information about Autism, direct from Autism New Zealand’s website:

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects cognitive, sensory, and social processing, changing the way people see the world and interact with others. Autism is not a mental illness, but a neurological difference - one of many variations of neurodiversity.

Every autistic person is unique, with a wide range of skills, qualities, interests, and personality styles. As the saying goes, “if you have met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person.” The level of support required is also highly individual. This heterogeneity is due to the fact that autism is not a single condition but a cluster of underlying neurological differences that are present in varying combinations in each person. The behaviour and needs related to these differences share common themes but manifest in different ways for each individual.

Autism is considered an invisible disability since challenges and difficulties are often not immediately apparent. There are no visible physical markers. The cognitive differences associated with autism may also contribute to specific skills such as superior visual memory, attention to detail, and pattern recognition.

Autism New Zealand provides services and support, education and information on autism for autistic people and family/whānau, caregivers, and professionals who engage with them. One of their workshops, Way to Play, is a fun one-day introduction to playing joyously with a child on the autism spectrum.

Way to Play has been specifically designed for people directly involved with a young autistic child. Adults are often left bewildered when trying to play with the child. The course offers some simple, easy to use, practical strategies to begin playing joyously together. Having fun playing together is the focus.

In the past, Nurtured at Home has hosted Autism New Zealand to facilitate their Way to Play workshop at our yearly conference, and many of our Visiting Teachers have also attended their community-based courses. Way to Play provided us with insight and practical skills to better support autistic children and their families in care. We highly recommend this course!