Autism Society still close in time of social distancing

April is Autism Awareness month. For the autism community, it’s the biggest month of the year as it brings them closer together to make sure they’re best serving the community. 

This April is different, though. Despite being separated physically amid a global pandemic, the Autism Society of Minnesota's goal of togetherness remains — just online for now.

“At the Autism Society, we actually really like to go beyond awareness and talk about acceptance and celebration,” Ellie Wilson, executive director of the Autism Society of Minnesota, said.

Usually, the AuSM does that with events and meetings, but this year it’s going all online, including its annual conference. Along with that, it has listed resources and guidance so people who have autism live through this pandemic and thrive.

“One of the common parts of autism is that fear, or anxiety, around the disruption of the routine. And of course, all of our routines are upside down,” Wilson told KSTP.

“In times of COVID-19, that means coming up with specific resources that people can use under these conditions — whether it’s explaining the importance of social distancing, or wearing a mask.”

The AuSM has teamed up with the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin to help with the Stronger Together on 2020 virtual conference. There will be 50 events, and all of that will be available for six months after the conference. 

Registration ends April 27, and for those who need a little boost to help them through this time, Wilson says it’ll be worth their time.