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Year Round Activities for Autism Acceptance

Classroom of students raising their hands for an activity

At a Glance

Importance of engaging with fellow educators to promote acceptance and support for Autistic students throughout the school community.

Suggestions of integrating short, focused lessons on autism into various subjects throughout the year to continuously educate and familiarize students with autism (perhaps the diversity of disability as well!).

Discussion around an extension activity: a social skills group curriculum that has the goal of structured yet flexible social opportunities with both Autistic and Allistic students.

Welcome back to the final (for now!) installment of our Autism Acceptance in the Classroom series, where in part 1 we talked about some core values to help guide decision making on how to build acceptance in the classroom, in part 2 we went over some basic best practices for building acceptance in the classroom, and in part 3 we went over some activities that are helpful for promoting acceptance in the month of April. In part 4 we are offering a few more activities that can promote Autism acceptance year round! 

Of course much like our April activities could be applied year round and these activities could be implemented in April, the April activities take on the tone of a major event while these activities focus more on the day to day. So let’s take a look!

Taking Time with Fellow Educators

While there are all sorts of ways to promote Autism acceptance in our own classrooms, it’s also possible to start on the project of building acceptance in the classrooms of other educators! 

Jumpstarting the conversation doesn’t have to be a huge process! This free video and handout goes over some of the basics, and since it is for educators rather than students there is an added emphasis on understanding student needs and how best to play a support role. 

You and your team are likely quite busy with all sorts of tasks and that particular handout condenses down into an 8 minute video and a couple of worksheets. A brief discussion on how best to support autistic students can be a great way to cap off a team meeting without taking up too much space. 

Whether it’s to brainstorm on how best to handle a complex situation, reflect on the way a particular situation was handled, or to share a new perspective from an Autistic self-advocate, establishing a time and space for these discussions can make a huge difference in building momentum for integration of those concepts into more and more classroom curricula.


For our post on activities for the month of April we shared a more comprehensive lesson on Autism and Autistic people. But one great way to focus more on Autistic people throughout the school year is to incorporate some mini lessons, either as a standalone activity or incorporated with a relevant topic. 

We offer an entire mini-unit on Autistic self-advocates in the AGU shop, but the topic you cover can depend on the subject. An English unit might include an age appropriate book from an Autistic author or a history lesson about modern America might draw a connection between the fight for disabled rights and the rights Autistic people continue to fight for today. 

While a comprehensive focus on Autism in April is great, peppering in small pieces throughout the year is reflective of all the little ways that Autistic people are woven into the fabric of our society despite the challenges that many Autistic people face. 

So try including a mini-lesson that touches on Autism from time to time on its own or with another lesson and build familiarity with your students throughout the year!

Incorporating Social Skills Into the Curriculum

One final activity we want to talk about in this post is reminiscent of the best practice of creating social opportunities for autistic students that we shared in part 2, but what are some ways we can create those opportunities? 

We want to be clear from the start that when we talk about practicing social skills, we are first and foremost talking about opportunities to navigate social situations in a safe space, and not instilling a “correct” way of socializing on students who do not prefer to socialize that way. Instead, creating opportunities to discuss a given topic or just chat with a minimum amount of structure can be a great way both to encourage Allistic students to meet Autistic students halfway in communication styles and for Autistic students to explore different ways of navigating social situations given their preferences on how to communicate. 

These opportunities do not need to be one-off! We offer Social Skills Group Curriculum with all the building blocks for a year round program, but you can also start with setting a time and place and some basic boundaries and encourage your students to join in, whether it’s at lunch, after school, or a part of the school day!

At the end of the day, for all of our efforts to educate one of the most important things we can do is to be conscious about making sure Autistic students have that opportunity and aren’t forced to deal with the de facto social isolation that Autistic students sometimes face through no fault of their own.


We hope these examples have shown that incorporating the topic of Autism into your curriculum year round does not have to be an enormous undertaking, and that a few key steps during the school year can end up having as big or bigger an impact that a big presentation during the month where the most people are paying attention to the topic of Autism. 

If you would like to share some of your experiences building Autism acceptance in your classroom or request another topic for us to cover more in depth in this series then we would love to hear from you! 

Just drop us a line at and in the meantime we hope you have found many new paths to helping Autism acceptance flourish in your classroom and school!

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Previous article Breaking Down Misconceptions About Teaching Social Skills
Next article Autism Acceptance Classroom Activities for the Month of April

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