Autism Awareness Printables

Resources for Helping Kids Learn About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Boy coloring at table
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April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Day. World Autism Day is an internationally-recognized day for raising awareness about autism. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulty with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors. 

Because autism is a spectrum disorder, the symptoms and severity can vary greatly from one individual to another. The signs of autism are usually evident around 2 or 3 years of age. Approximately 1 in 68 children in the United States have autism which occurs more often in boys than girls.

A child with autism might:

  • Avoid making eye contact
  • Not respond to his or her name
  • Avoid physical contact
  • Get upset by changes to their routine
  • Have delayed speech or no speech
  • Repeat words or phrases

Because of the movie Rain Man (and, more recently, the television series The Good Doctor), many people associate autistic savant behavior with autism in general. Savant behavior refers to a person who has remarkable skills in one or more areas. However, not all savants have autism and not all people with ASD are savants.

Asperger's syndrome refers to behaviors that are on the autism spectrum without significant delays in language or cognitive development. Since 2013, Asperger's is no longer listed as an official diagnosis, but the term is still widely used to differentiate its associated behaviors from those of autism.

Nearly one-third of people with autism will remain nonverbal. While they may not use spoken communication, some people with nonverbal autism can learn to communicate through writing, typing, or sign language. Being nonverbal does not mean that an individual is not intelligent.

Because autism is so prevalent, it's likely that you know or will encounter a person with autism. Don't be afraid of them. Reach out to them and get to know them. Learn as much as you can about autism so that you and your children understand the challenges that people with autism face and can also recognize the strengths that they possess.

Use these free printables to begin teaching your children (and possibly yourself) about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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Autism Awareness Vocabulary

One of the best ways to begin increasing awareness and understanding of autism is to become familiar with the terms associated with the diagnosis. Do some research on the internet or with a reference book to learn what each of the terms on this vocabulary worksheet means. Match each term to its correct definition. 

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Autism Awareness Wordsearch

Use this word search puzzle as an informal way for students to continue to review the terms associated with autism. As students find each word among the jumbled letters in the puzzle, they should silently review to make sure they remember its meaning.

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Autism Awareness Crossword Puzzle

Try this crossword puzzle for more informal review. Each clue describes a term associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. See if your students can correctly complete the puzzle without referring to their completed vocabulary worksheet. 

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Autism Awareness Questions

Print the pdf: Autism Questions Page

Use this fill-in-the-blank worksheet to help your students gain a better understanding of people with autism.

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Autism Awareness Alphabet Activity

Young students can use this worksheet to review the terms associated with autism and practice their alphabetizing skills at the same time. 

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Autism Awareness Door Hangers

Spread awareness about autism with these door hangers. Students should cut each out along the the dotted line and cut out the small circle at the top. Then, they can place the completed door hangers on the door knobs around their house. 

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Autism Awareness Draw and Write

What have your students learned about ASD? Let them show you by drawing a picture related to autism awareness and writing about their drawing.

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Autism Awareness Bookmarks and Pencil Toppers

Participate in Autism Awareness Month with these bookmarks and pencil toppers. Cut out each. Punch holes on tabs of the pencil toppers and insert a pencil through holes.

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Autism Awareness Coloring Page - National Autism Symbol

Since 1999, the puzzle ribbon has been the official symbol of autism awareness. It is the trademark of the Autism Society. The colors of the puzzle pieces are dark blue, light blue, red, and yellow.

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Autism Awareness Coloring Page - Child Playing

Remind your children that kids with autism may play alone because they have difficult interacting with others, not because they are unfriendly.

Updated by Kris Bales