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Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month

In 1970, the Autism Society, the nation's leading grassroots autism organization, launched an ongoing nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and assure that all affected by autism are able to achieve the highest quality of life possible. In 1972, the first annual National Autistic Children’s week was created, later evolving into Autism Acceptance Month (AAM).

The first Autism Acceptance Month celebrations were organized by Paula Durbin Westby in 2011, as a response to traditional “Autism Awareness” campaigns which some of the Autistic community found harmful and insufficient. To learn more about the philosophy behind the "Nothing About Us, Without Us!" campaign, please visit the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network.

Famous People with Autism

Headshot of Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd

Daniel Edward Aykroyd, a Canadian-American actor, comedian, musician, businessman and filmmaker, was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's Syndromes as a child. Full Bio. Photo Credit: Dan Aykroyd by Bernard Gotfryd (CC by PD)

Headshot of Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, a pioneer in research on livestock behavior, was diagnosed with autism at two and a half years old. Full bio. Photo Credit: Temple Grandin at a book signing at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota by Jonathunder. (CC: BY 1.2)

Headshot of Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle

Scottish singer Susan Boyle, internationally recognized for performing "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Misérables on Britain's Got Talent, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. Full bio. Photo credit: Battle-of-the-divas-Susan-Boyle-pictured-in-New-York-this-week-will-go-up-against-Lady-Gaga-at-next-year's-Grammys-after-both-scoring-nominations-for-Best-Pop-Vocal-Album by Humberpike. (CC BY 2.0 DEED.) Note: Photo is cropped from original.

Headshot of Daryl Hannah

Daryl Hannah

Actress Daryl Hannah, who was diagnosed with Autism as a child, is best known for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner, Steel Magnolias, and RoxanneFull bio. Photo Credit: Daryl Hannah, actress and activist by World Travel & Tourism Counsel. (CC BY 2.0 DEED.)

Headshot of Satoshi Tajiri

Satoshi Tajiri

Satoshi Tajiri, who has Asperger's Syndrome, combined his childhood passions of bug collecting and video games to create Pokémon, a world phenomena video game and franchise. Full bio. Photo Credit: He made Pokemon, TAJIRI Satoshi - 田尻智 by Miki Yoshihito. (CC BY 2.0 DEED.)

Headshot of Courtney Love

Courtney Love

Courtney Love is a musician and actor, well-known for leading the band Hole. She has been open about her childhood autism diagnosis. Full bio. Photo credit: Life Ball 2014: Courtney Love on the red carpet on the square in front of the Rathaus by Manfred Werner - Tsui. (CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED.)

Books and eBooks at MiraCosta Library

Autism Acceptance Films @ MiraCosta Library

Life Animated film cover art

Life, Animated

The real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood.

Best Kept Secret film cover art

Best Kept Secret

A Newark, NJ teacher struggles to prepare her students with autism to survive in the brutal world that awaits them once they graduate.

image of Temple Grandin

TEDTalks: Temple Grandin—The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works—sharing her ability to “think in pictures,”" which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

Living With Autism film cover art

Living With Autism

This highly personal and emotional film is presented by Psychologist Prof Uta Frith, who has devoted 50 years to studying autism. The film shows the remarkable characters who have revolutionized our understanding of the human brain.

Josh Flannagan film cover art

Josh Flannagan: The Horse Whisperer—Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability

Josh Flannagan believes Asperger's syndrome helps him understand horses. Watch as he confronts his fears daily to defy expectations in this episode of Against the Odds.

POV: Swim Team film cover art

POV: Swim Team: Competitive Young Swimmers on the Autism Spectrum

A documentary about the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, a competitive swim team that recruits teens with autism spectrum disorder.

A Personal Journey film cover art

A Personal Journey Covering Autism 'In a Different Key'

Former Nightline correspondent John Donvan and producer Caren Zucker spent 15 years reporting on autism.

Autism in America film cover art

Autism in America

This film is a genuine and straightforward look into the autism spectrum disorder as told by the families and individuals living with autism daily. Includes interviews with Ruth Sullivan, Ph.D., the mother of Joe who inspired Dustin Hoffman's autistic character in the movie Rain Man and Alexis, the first autistic person to run for Miss America.