How to Be a Proactive Advocate for Autism

Two Methods:Listening to Autistic PeopleCreate Your Own Material

Participation in autism acceptance and inclusion campaigns is a wonderful endeavor. Whether you're autistic, you know a person on the spectrum, or you simply want to make a difference, you can help support autism acceptance and advocacy. Follow this article's simple instructions to take the first steps to spreading autism awareness.

Method 1
Listening to Autistic People

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    Find outspoken autistic people. Many autistic people are active in the community, running support and social groups. Others maintain blogs, Youtube channels, podcasts, and other online presences. By finding those who are spreading autism awareness, you will be able to discover the best group for you to join and connect with. A group can not only support you emotionally and physically but also help you make quicker progress in projects for autism.
    • Do your research. Before joining a group or participating in a project, gather as much information as possible. It is best for you to be aware of what you're joining in order to protect yourself.
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    Support autistic people's goals. Being an advocate means doing what is best for the people you support. Autistic people are aware of the objectives they wish to complete, so find out what they need and support them in reaching their goals. Each person has different desires, but here are some common goals:
    • Fighting stigma
    • In-home care for autistic people who don't want to live in group homes or institutions
    • Normalizing sign language and electronic communication devices in public
    • Spreading autism acceptance, not just autism awareness (which promotes rather than combats stigma)
    • Calling for an end to controlling and abusive therapy practices
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    Help autistic people be heard in the community. Once you know what the autistic people around you want, help them communicate that to others. There are many ways to do this, such as helping with fundraising, organizing events, reading speeches at events for people who fear public speaking, etc. In order to reach goals, you must take action and help autistic people step forward by supporting them rather than being passive.

Method 2
Create Your Own Material

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    Be outspoken. If your community lacks outspoken autistic people, you can step up to open the floor. Start by researching events and groups in other communities that have been successful. Think about what type of leader your community will embrace as an autism advocate, as well as what kind of representation autistic people want to see.
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    Go for it. Whether you decide to host a social gathering, participate in an already established local event, support local autistic artists and business owners, or any other form of advocacy, you have to commit. If you aren't sure how to handle it, look for advice on running events, fundraisers, advertising, and any other aspects of your activity.
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    Don't overdo it. Whenever you start a new activity, it can be exciting to throw yourself into it. However, don't lose sight of your original goal. Once you find autistic people in your community, encourage them to contribute or advise on your efforts. Delegating can be hard, and it's important to think about how much you can do to avoid micromanaging.
    • This is especially important if you are autistic yourself. Your feelings may be difficult for you to understand, so you may not realize that you have hit your limit.


  • When speaking as a non-autistic advocate, be a microphone, not a voiceover. Learn what the people you're advocating for want, and amplify their voices without trying to put your own spin on things.


  • Don't support organizations that autistic people agree are harmful. If you are considering doing a charity event for a national group, research the opinions of autistic people before supporting them.
  • Research carefully, especially if you are easily upset by hate speech. Some prominent groups are actively harmful and cruel to autistic people.

Article Info

Categories: Autism Spectrum | Disability Activism