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Autism Acceptance Month Resources from Dr. Paula Kluth.

In case you missed it, Autism Awareness month is more recently known as Autism Acceptance month. During the month of April, we can increase our efforts to raise and spread awareness, use language appropriate for autistic learners, focus on strengths, and spread kindness through inclusion support.

One resource that may be helpful in educating autistic learners is the strengths and strategies profile created by Dr. Paula Kluth. If we take the time to incorporate a tool such as this one, we are able to begin to understand how to better motivate and connect with autistic learners. Perhaps this new strategy can be added to your educator toolbox.

As we think about accepting autistic learners (learn about identity first language here), especially during this April focus month, we should also think about how we teach acceptance and extend learning to strengthen educational environments to be more inclusive. Can “being inclusive” be incorporated into our PBIS building-wide expectations? What observable behaviors might reflect this expectation in action? What opportunities are we providing to ensure that our students are learning about acceptance and making explicit progress in social inclusion?

So, where do we begin? I turn to Dr. Paula Kluth, consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar, for what she calls "inclusion rules."

#1 Everyone is welcome

#2 See rule #1

To learn more about autism acceptance, check out the newest edition of this resource which “gives educators sensitive new ways to see autistic students and instantly useful strategies for teaching and welcoming them in general education classrooms.” 

In other news, a recent article, published January 2023 by Healthnews, shares some recent work by scientists who have developed the Autism Symptom Dimensions Questionnaire (ASDQ) — a new freely available autism screening and symptom monitoring questionnaire to assist in the diagnostic process.

Finally, on March 24, 2021, Ohio's 133rd General Assembly enacted House Bill 123, the "Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act". The SAVE Students Act was passed with the knowledge that student success is dependent on whether students feel safe and supported in school.  As related to acceptance and fostering welcoming environments for all students, Ohio law now requires districts to include in health education for grades 6-12 at least one hour on social inclusion.  Examples of approved, evidence-based programs are listed below.


Start With Hello

Schools can register themselves on the program's web page to access program materials at no cost.

Botvin LifeSkills Training 

There are costs associated with this training.

7 Mindsets

There are costs associated with this training.

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