Autism Awareness Month 2013

AAM 2013


April is recognized as National Autism Awareness Month and provides an opportunity to educate the public about autism spectrum disorders.

Read what peers of students with an autism spectrum disorder have to say about how their lives have been positively affected by having a friend with ASD.

AAM 2013: Abbi and Adam

Abbi and Adam

"What I have learned from having a friend with autism is you have to be patient with them, and you have to always understand, support, and be there for them through anything and everything. I love being a friend to Adam, because he always seems to put a smile on my face no matter what. He is always cheerful, and so full of life. He is such a special person, and means so much to me, that I would be willing to do anything in the world for him. I truly don't know where I would be now if I hadn't ever met Adam."

- Abbi

AAM 2013: Alex and Kaohtow

Alex and Kaohtow

"Alex catch me all the time. But he can't find me. Becus I hide. I [like] Alex becus he is fun."

- Kaohtow

AAM 2013: Brett and Carlin

Brett and Carlin

"Being a friend to someone with Autism has really changed and helped me. It has taught me to be more patient. It has also helped me learn how to cooperate and be a friend with people who may seem different. What's not to like about Carlin? Carlin is definitely special to me and has taught me that even if a person can't talk they can still be a friend to you, as well as vise versa."

- Brett

AAM 2013: Garrett, Brody, and Shea

Garrett, Brody, and Shea

"The best thing about being friends with Shea is he’s funny."

- Garrett

"The best thing about being friends with Shea is he likes to play Minecraft like me and can build really cool stuff on it.  He always remembers your birthday too."

- Brody

AAM 2013: Jacob and Logan

Jacob and Logan

"I like being a friend to Jacob because I feel like I am helping him with lots of things. Some of the things I help him with are: learning the names of our class, helping him in a noisy cafeteria to find a seat, playing spelling games, walk with him to class, "high-five" him whenever I see him, sit with him and just being his friend. I think Jacob is fun to have around. He is very energetic and friendly to me. Jacob brightens my day and makes grateful for what I can do."

- Logan

AAM 2013: Jessi and Adam

Jessi and Adam

"Adam holds an extremely special place in my heart. He accepts and loves everyone and this is what makes him so special. Seeing him overcome obstacles and just being a typical student makes me smile. He has inspired me to be a better person by being able to call him my friend."

- Jessi

Information provided by the Indiana Resource Center for Autism on peer support programs.
Information provided by Operation Autism: A Resource Guide for Military Families.  Includes 10 steps to starting a peer program in your school.
A module that provides participants with specific steps necessary to develop a peer-to-peer support program for students with ASD.
A slideshow entitled Peer to Peer Learning: Kids Helping Kids with Autism.
Information provided by Pacer Center on Teens Against Bullying.
Official website of Michelle Garcia Winner including information on social thinking.


Carter, M.A. & Santomauro, J. Friendly Facts:  A Fun, Interactive Resource to Help Children Explore the Complexities of Friends And Friendship,  (2010), Shawnee Mission, KS:  Autism Asperger Publishing Co.

Crooke, P. & Winner, M.G., Social Fortune or Social Fate:  A Social Thinking Graphic Novel Map for Social Quest Thinkers, (2011), San Jose, CA:  Think Social Publishing Inc.

Grandin, T. & Barron, S. Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, (2005), Arlington, TX:  Future Horizons Inc.

Gutstein, S.E. & Sheely, R.K.  Relationship Development Intervention with Children, Adolescents and Adults, (2002), London N1: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Lowell, J.A. & Tuchel, T.  My Best Friend Will, (2005), Shawnee Mission, KS:  Autism Asperger Pub. Co.

Norell, C. Quirky, Yes,  Hopeless, No:  Practical Tips to Help Your Child with Asperger’s Syndrome Be More Socially Accepted, (2009), NY:  St. Martin’s Griffin.

Perske, R. Circle of Friends:  People with Disabilities and Their Friends, (1988), Nashville Abingdon Press.

Rubin, K.H. The Friendship Factor:  Helping Our Children Navigate Their Social World and Why It Matters for Their Success and Happiness, (2002), NY:  Penguin Books.

Shally, C. Since We’re Friends, (2007), Centerton, Ark:  Awaken Specialty Press.

Shapiro, L.E. & Holmes, J. Let’s Be Friends:  A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Social Skills & Make Great Friends, (2008), Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications.