In 1972, the Autism Society established National Autistic Children’s Week as part of a campaign to promote public awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders and ways to support Autistic people. This developed into a month-long observance known as Autism Awareness Month in April. In the 2010s, individuals and organizations such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network pushed for the change to Autism Acceptance Month. In March 2021, the Autism Society announced their formal adoption of this name change. Autism spectrum disorder includes the (now outdated) diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified.
Why do we celebrate autism acceptance, rather than autism awareness?
“Autism acceptance is seeing us as whole, complete human beings worthy of respect. Autism acceptance is recognizing that we are different and helping us learn to work within our individual patterns of strengths and weaknesses to become the best people we can be, not trying to transform us into someone we are not. Autism acceptance is remembering always that Autistic people are listening, including those who might appear not to be, and choosing to speak of autism and Autistic people in ways that presume competence and communicate value.” -The ABCs of Autism Acceptance by Sparrow Rose Jones.
While public awareness about autism and understanding of Autistic people continues to be as important as ever, we wish to promote the kind of awareness that fosters acceptance and improved quality of life for all Autistic people. The Library strives to create a welcoming environment for people on the spectrum, including adults, teens, and children.
To help with this goal, each library location will have a We Speak Library device. The alternative augmented communication device is a tablet that uses picture icons to help non-speaking/non-verbal patrons communicate with library staff.
Currently, our in-person autism- and sensory-friendly programs are on pause due to COVID-19 restrictions. We hope to resume them soon. But everyone is welcome to join us for virtual programs including storytimes, book clubs, and more.
Autism Acceptance Month is a time to celebrate neurodiversity. The titles on this list, compiled by Sacramento Public Library’s Equity Committee, highlight the diversity of the autism community, with an emphasis on titles by Autistic authors/creators.
Titles for Teens
Titles for Adults
Titles for Children
Organizations and Resources
Alta California Regional Center
“Alta California Regional Center creates partnerships to support all eligible individuals with developmental disabilities, children at risk, and their families in choosing services and supports through individual lifelong planning as a means to achieve healthy and productive lives in their own communities.”
“The Fly Brave Foundation's mission is to offer employment training for adults with developmental disabilities that have aged out of the school system, focusing on three essential building blocks; vocational training, social/life skills, and living a healthy lifestyle through fitness programs.” All of Fly Brave's programs and services are free.
“Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device user social group - Mentoring individuals to communicate on their own with support, friendship, leadership and good examples.” Meetings are held virtually, via Zoom. Serving individuals in the counties of Sacramento, Yolo, Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Sutter, and Yuba.
“The California Department of Rehabilitation’s (DOR) Voice Options program provides eligible Californians who are unable to speak, or who have difficulty speaking, with a free speech-generating device.” Sacramento County program provider is Resources for Independent Living. Their Assistive Technology Coordinator, Hanna Lucid, can be reached at email@example.com or called at 916-446-3074.
“Creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it.”
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
“The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities.”
Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment
“We provide microgrants to Black, Brown, Native, Asian, and mixed-race people in the autistic community.” Parents, caregivers, and family members are not allowed to apply for funding.
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN)
“Our goal is to dispel stereotypes and misinformation which perpetuate unnecessary fears surrounding an autism diagnosis. AWN is committed to recognizing and celebrating diversity and the many intersectional experiences in our community. We welcome all women, transgender and cisgender, transfeminine and transmasculine non-binary and genderqueer people, Two-Spirit people, trans people of all genders, and all other people of marginalized genders.” AWAN is the fiscal sponsor of the Autistic People of Color Fund.
“This is an Autistic-led Facebook group for parents and caregivers of Autistic children to ask questions of Autistic adults. Parents and caregivers come to this group to hear perspectives, insights and feedback from Autistic members - and as such this group respectfully centers upon Autistic voices. We seek to educate in this group so that current and future generations of Autistic children can be better understood and supported with their needs.”
Sacramento Actually Autistics
“This is a Facebook group for Autistics by autistics for making friends, getting support, and just having a place where we can be our authentic selves.”
Sacramento Autism Families
“Meet other parents who can relate to your struggles and concerns…This is a positive place to share information and experiences.”