Inclusion and Advocacy Resources for April and Beyond

children laughing

This article originally appeared in START Connecting in March 2022. 

April is Autism month when we focus on Acceptance, Advocacy, and Action. In anticipation of April and the various activities acknowledging autism, we asked colleagues, friends, and community partners from across the state to share their favorite books, podcasts, websites, and videos about autism, specifically by, about, and for people with autism. We invited submissions emphasizing inclusion, advocacy, acceptance, and respect for all autistic individuals. 

You may find that some of the submissions are well-established resources that you are already familiar with, while others are new discoveries for you. We hope these resources will inspire you to find new ways to engage with others to expand their understanding and broaden their perspective about the experiences of people on the spectrum.

"While it is important to reflect on autism in April, autism acceptance is a 365-day commitment and is part of our communities and lives year-round."

As we continue to build our library of resources, we invite you to explore actionable ways to engage in autism acceptance and advocacy. While it is important to reflect on autism in April, autism acceptance is a 365-day commitment and is part of our communities and lives year-round. We encourage you to discover actions and practices focused on equity and inclusiveness that value the voices and perspectives of the autistic community in April and the months after. 

 Actionable Ways to Engage in Autism Acceptance and Advocacy


Autism Level UP!
Awareness is not enough. Many in the autistic community use the phrase "Nothing about us without us." Autism Level UP! is a website with many resources (e.g. podcasts, articles, videos, and social media presence) focused on engaging the autistic community, listening to its members, and learning from them to guide this work.   

  • Abbey, Autism Coach
  • Kent County, Michigan

Autism Society
This website promotes advocacy by giving families with children on the autism spectrum the opportunity to learn about resources so they can be educated about social connections and communication. It has great webinars that are educational for those on the autism spectrum. 

  • Jeremy, Contributor
  • Fort Gratiot, Michigan
  • The Autism Society began to advocate for autism acceptance month over ten years ago. 


Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos
This is a novel from the perspective of an autistic middle school student. It highlights the internal dialogue of an individual who may have minimal spoken language and how that person is treated by different people in her life. It offers many opportunities to discuss inclusion and respect with students. 

  • Anonymous, Autistic Self-Advocate
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Rip and Red Series by Phil Bildner
Rip and Red are best friends (one with autism and one without) who are navigating the challenges of fifth-grade life and school basketball. These stories showcase how easy friendship can be between people with and without autism.

  • Danielle, Unified Champion Schools Coordinator
  • Southeast Michigan

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
This is a great book to read to students involved in a Peer to Peer (LINKS) program to gain greater insight and understanding of those with autism.

  • Megan, School Social Worker
  • Kent County, Michigan

Videos and Podcasts

Amazing Kids
I discovered that the makers of the video Amazing Things Happen now have this new video. Both videos are told from the perspective of people with autism and give insight into autistic experiences. They are brief and relevant to many audiences.  

  • Kim, ASD Consultant   
  • Saginaw, Michigan

Uniquely Human: The Podcast
This podcast comes from the book Uniquely Human by Dr. Barry Prizant. Many topics are discussed relevant to advocacy and broadening perspectives, and some podcasts include interviews with autistic individuals. 

  • Anonymous, Professor
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan

Autistic Abroad
This podcast includes information about autistic self-advocacy, independent living, and acceptance abroad.

  • Holly, Autistic Self-Advocate and START Consultant
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan

START presents these resources for informational purposes only; no endorsement or recommendation is expressed or implied. This resource list provides a wide variety of information that demonstrates the landscape of research and the unique lived experiences of autistic individuals. It is meant to highlight areas of strength, encourage better supports, and promote greater acceptance of autism. Any use of these materials must be premised on the user’s own professional judgment as to the appropriateness for their district, community, and student(s), and be undertaken in accordance with all applicable district policies.

Page last modified April 1, 2022