April is Autism Awareness Month


Did you know?

Autism Awareness Day - April 2

The sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2013. Every year, Autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. How will you celebrate? To share your events, please "Like" the World Autism Awareness Day page on Facebook and submit your events by posting the information on the wall.  

Quick Fact:
Did you know that in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day the Empire State Building came alive on the night of April 2nd in a special lighting activity? The Empire State Building was not alone though.  In fact, more than 7,000 structures and landmarks in 90 countries spotlighted the day by "shining a light" on Autism. Participating landmarks included the George Washington Bridge in New York City, Niagara Falls in Canada, and Burj Al Arab in Dubai to name just a few.  You can see other landmarks that chose to take part in the annual World Autism Awareness Day by clicking here.

Please visit the Autism Speaks website for additional information on the Light It Up Blue campaign and think of other ways in the schools and community you can help "light it up blue" during the month of April.  

Autism Statistics

Data released in March 2013 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the prevalence of individuals diagnosed with Autism may be higher than previous estimates. In March 2012, data suggested approximately 1 in 88 children had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, current data suggests the following:

  • 1 in 50 US school children have Autism

Visit CBS NEWS for a recent news story on the latest estimate or go directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional information.


Thank You Autism Society!
The Autism Society of North Carolina-Guilford Chapter is providing an iPad for each of the 96 classrooms that serve our students with Autism, pre-kindergarten through high school. Guilford County Schools is providing a $20.00 iTunes card for teachers to download Autism specific applications.  The long standing effort by the local chapter of the Autism society to support our students is a wonderful community effort to lift our programs and students to be the best that they can be!  When schools and community work together, wonderful things can happen! 

Celebrating Autism Awareness Across the District!

Alamance Elementary School - Olivia Stone, exceptional children's teacher, would love for you to celebrate and honor all of those living with Autism within our community and participate in the school's Coin Drive for Autism Awareness month. Throughout the month of April the children will make posters and collect coins to show their support.  Her students will also participate in "AU talks" which are given in each classroom. Ms. Stone coordinated the fourth annual "Light Up Alamance Blue" event that was held on March 28, 2013.  Following an assembly to kick of the school's Coin Drive, each teacher released two blue balloons and each child blew bubbles from small blue bubble vials. 

Andrews High School - Greg Desern, an exceptional children's teacher, will have students making Autism Awareness buttons to sell.  Please contact Mr. Desern at desernw@gcsnc.com for additional information.

Gillespie Park - During the month of April, exceptional needs students will create Autism Awareness posters to display around the school.  In addition, books on Autism will be donated/ displayed and read to classes during media center instruction.  In addition, students will be exposed to CDs and worksheets on the topic of autism. A PowerPoint presentation on autism will also be shared with each grade level.

Jamestown Middle School - Select staff at Jamestown Middle are showing their support for Autism Awareness Month by wearing Autism Awareness t-shirts (see picture above).

Joyner Elementary School - Students with Autism in the inclusion program at Joyner  had a unique opportunity this spring. Mary Mig McEntire, exceptional children's teacher, received a mini-grant from the Enrichment Fund for the Guilford County Schools to utilize yoga in the classroom.  Research has shown that yoga practice can be used for students with Autism to facilitate calming and regulation of anxiety induced behaviors.  Lisa Amani, a local yoga instructor and owner of Shankari Yoga, held six sessions with the students.  The students and staff learned skills to calm, center, and invigorate themselves.  In addition, the students developed self-confidence while sharing emotional and social connections in a safe, relaxing environment.  Ms. McEntire and Ms. Amani were both pleased with the success of the program! 

GCS Psychological Services - The school psychologists conducted a fund-raising drive amongst their staff and made a donation to the Autism Society.  In addition, during the month of April, the school psychologists will be wearing blue on their meeting days and sharing resources, websites, and other materials to with their respective buildings.

Southern Guilford High School - To promote Autism Awareness at Southern Guilford High, Autism Speaks stickers are being sold.  Each person who purchases one will be allowed to wear jeans on a specified day later this month.  

Southwest Elementary School - Exceptional children's teacher Wanda Boone has organized making puzzle pins for the entire staff at Southwest Elementary.  The school will have Autism Awareness posters displayed, and Autism facts will be read over the intercom daily in the month of April.  In addition, weekly drawings will occur for autism merchandise, and refreshments will be provided with an Autism Speaks theme.

Celebrating Autism Awareness in the Community



Corporate Sponsor Events:

We Want Your Feedback! 

Is there additional information you would like posted on this website about Autism Awareness?  Feel free to share how your school is celebrating Autism Awareness, and we will add it to the district events detailed above.  Email sylvesk@gcsnc.com.