April is such an important month for parents, teachers, therapists and people with autism. It’s Autism Awareness Month (also known as Autism Acceptance Month), and here at Sing to Say, we’re so happy to support and celebrate the autistic community.
Autism Awareness Month History
Autism Awareness Month was started in the early 1970’s, with a campaign spearheaded by the Autism Society of America. In 1999, the Autism Society created the well-recognized ribbon that features puzzle pieces in many different colours. The colours represent how diverse autism can be for people living on the spectrum. These days, along with the puzzle piece ribbon, you might also see flags with a rainbow-coloured infinity symbol on them. Many people with autism have adopted this as a symbol of the range of neurodiversity in the world, ranging from those with autism to neurotypical people and everyone in between.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated April 2 World Autism Awareness Day, which is now celebrated worldwide.
Some autism advocates prefer the use of the term “Autism Acceptance Month,” as opposed to “Autism Awareness Month,” as they feel it encourages people to be more welcoming to and appreciative of people with autism.
A Little Help From Sing to Say
Sing to Say and Sing to Say Foundations are apps that we’ve created for children with autism. Our goal is to use music in order to help children grow their vocabulary and become capable of independent speech. After many years of research, we have discovered that music is, indeed, a very effective way to teach language to children with autism.
How Music Helps the Autistic Community
Using music to teach language engages the music centers of the brain, not the spoken language centers (which can sometimes be impaired). The music that we’ve created emphasizes and focuses on the words we are trying to teach. The songs are clear, well-paced and easily recalled. When we researched which instruments were most popular with our audience, we found that the piano, guitar and drums were the ones the children liked most. In composing the music, we kept our songs very short, to keep our audience engaged.
Both Sing to Say and Sing to Say Foundations, have an extremely useful ‘check it’ feature. This feature allows the child to check their knowledge of the words they have been learning. We know that repetition helps with retention.
At Sing to Say we stand for children with autism, their families, caregivers and educators. We are committed to creating a kinder, more inclusive community, where we can support one another each and every day!
Share Your Story
Do you know an outstanding teacher, an exceptional therapist or a wonderful parent? If you’ve got a story to share about a super-special member of the autism community, we would love to hear it. Please us a DM with the details and we’ll be sure to share their story and shine a light on the support they bring to individuals with autism!