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.