Autism Acceptance Month and Young Children

If you have a connection to the autism community—or even if you don’t—you may have heard that April is Autism Awareness Month, also referred to as World Autism Month. There is no formal designation for this month, but the celebration evolved from the Autism Society of America’s first National Autistic Children’s Week in 1972 and the United Nations’ official observance of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. 

Though our goal should be to provide alliance and support every day of the year, a month-long celebration and education period is a great way to showcase important information to friends, family, and potential new allies for our children with autism. Learn how to be an Ally for Autism and find more resources (local and national) for children ages 0-5 put together by our Child and Family Library Services team.

Screening, Testing, and Diagnosing: Where do I start? 

If you have any questions regarding neurodiversity or specific concerns about autism, there are many free resources in Arapahoe County that want to help!

Early Intervention Colorado (Ages Birth to 3 Years)

Early Intervention (EI) Colorado supports families of children from birth to their third birthday who have developmental delays or disabilities at no cost to families. 

EI Colorado services include coaching and support to give parents the information and skills needed to turn everyday interactions and activities into opportunities to help children learn and grow. Learn more on their website.

Developmental Pathways

Developmental Pathways is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities/delays and their families. They are also one of Colorado’s Community Centered Boards (CCB) connecting people to federal, state, county, and private funding in Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Elbert County, and the City of Aurora. Developmental Pathways passionately believes inclusion is for everyone and offers services through Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver programs, locally funded programs, and partnerships with other community organizations. 

Support offered in one’s own home and community exemplifies the principle that full inclusion and participation in community life are attainable for everyone. 

Developmental Pathways helps support you and your loved one by providing intake, eligibility enrollment, and case management, all with a person-centered focus. Get connected on their website.

Child Find (Ages 3 to 5 Years)

Child Find is part of Colorado's system for identifying children suspected of having a delay in development as early as possible. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or someone is concerned about the child’s growth or learning, a referral can be made to Child Find.   

Starting at age three, the public school system (school districts and/or Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) has responsibility for the Child Find process and will work with the family about their concerns, with a focus on meeting the child’s educational needs. The purpose of the process is to determine if there is an educational disability that requires special education and related services for the child to make progress in preschool.

Child Find is provided at no cost to families. Visit their website to learn more or get started.

Want more resources about autism, developmental delays, or have early childhood-related questions? Our Child and Family Library Services team would love to help!  

Submit a request through Ask-A-Librarian or call 303-542-7279 (303-LIBRARY) for more support. 

Booklist and Resources

Resources like books about autism and neurodiversity can help a child and family see themselves and create an opportunity for a welcoming space. Please check out these recommended titles.

List created by ArapahoeSusan

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