Today, this month and always, we at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center celebrate Autism Acceptance and Inclusion.

We look to this day and month to encourage people and communities across the world to take time to learn about the breadth of what autism can ‘look’ like, to understand that Autism Spectrum Disorders look different for every individual and family, to pause before passing a judgement on someone who may look or act differently, and to act with empathy and kindness.

We see this day and month as opportunity to educate our communities on ways we can and should embrace, appreciate, and celebrate the unique contributions each individual brings to our world. We see this day and month as opportunity to remind our future leaders and advocates that kids with autism grow into adults with autism, and we have a societal responsibility to care for and include this growing adult population in the community, in the workplace, and in our world.

While the world will be shining a light on autism in celebration of Autism Acceptance Day, we decided to look around the globe and in our city to shine a light on some of the initiatives and opportunities taking place to advance our collective efforts of bringing greater acceptance, greater inclusion, and greater appreciation for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.