Autism Awareness Month 2021: Real Me

Celebrating Autism Awareness Month by celebrating real people

Like everyone, those living with autism have their own unique personalities and likes and dislikes. That’s why we integrate a team approach to support each person’s unique needs. As we celebrate Autism Awareness Month, we celebrate the real people we support and invite you to share the stories of the real people in your world. 

Chris; a man with short hair sitting on a couch and writing with a pen

Chris is a big help around the house and is the one who will keep everyone on task and on schedule. Chris’s favorite things to do are to go to the park, go to the movies, play at the arcade, and eat out –his favorite restaurant is PDQ. Chris is very welcoming to anyone he meets and always wants to know more about who you are. Chris enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and having conversations about things he enjoys.

Sumaiyaah, a young girl with a purple shirt and leggins sits at a table in a classroom holding her hand against her face

Sumaiyaah — or Mai as her family lovingly calls her — is a vibrant, fun-loving sister and daughter whose favorite pastime is playing on the beach. It doesn’t matter which shore town her family visits: If there’s sand and water, Mai has a smile on her face. She loves to eat pizza, preferably from Little Caesar’s, and doesn’t hesitate to make new friends on the playground. “She’s one of the most courageous people I know,” says her father, Omar. “She knows what she wants, and she’s determined to go after it.”

Ellie; a young girl with short hair and patterned shirt sits at a table holding a card and smiles

Ellie is described by her care team as a “firecracker.” She loves hot sauce and any condiments. She is always happy and loving and enjoys a good snuggle. But she can also play by herself for hours spending time in a splash pool or with her beads and blocks. And, like a lot of 16 year olds, she spends much of her time dancing and listening to music.

a man in a mask and sweater stands in a playroom with toys

Josh’s favorite food is Chinese! He enjoys ordering food out and getting it delivered. Josh loves trains, listening to records and traveling –before COVID he would go on two trips a day! He is an avid sports fan, both watching and participating especially in swimming, and is a writer with quite a few pen pals.

Ryan; a light-skinned man with short hair wearing a t-shirt and holding a Philadelphia Flyers towel

Ryan is a huge sports fan but his favorite team by far is the Flyers! He enjoys playing basketball and being part of the Special Olympics bowling team. Ryan is very kind and happy and loves to joke and laugh with his friends. He really doesn’t like when holidays (especially Christmas) are over.

Cade; a young boy with curly hair wearing a graduation cap and robe

Cade loves his iPad — like most 16-year-olds. He is also a gentle child who enjoys time on the swings and swimming. He laughs a lot but gets nervous in new surroundings. He’s an athlete who was a proud participant in Special Olympics! Cade is a graduate of the Preschool & Early Education Program and is now a student at The Bancroft School.

Watch Ben's Story

Autism Awareness Month Stories & Resources

Male paraprofessional in Bancroft sweatshirt giving a high five to another male.

Ways to Celebrate Autism

To raise awareness and show support for the beautiful, smart, and unique individuals living with autism, we’ve put together some helpful ways to celebrate autism with friends, family and in your community every day of the year! 

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Female paraprofessional in bright pink sweatshirt sitting at a table holding an ipad with her male student. Student is smiling at the camera.

Exploring Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy

ABA Therapy is an effective treatment for individuals with autism. The specialized treatment enables children to overcome challenging behaviors and connect with their world, and includes individualized strategies to meet each child’s unique needs.

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Three light-skinned females wearing bancroft t-shirts smiling next to each other

Benefits of a Team Approach

No two children have the exact same needs. That’s why the team approach to supporting children with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities is so critical. At Bancroft, we see the team like a puzzle carefully designed to fit around a child.

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Young boy with brown hair sitting on steps outside.

Cade's Story

Cade loves his iPad — like most 16-year-olds. He is also a gentle child who enjoys time on the swings and swimming. He laughs a lot but gets nervous in new surroundings. He’s an athlete who was a proud participant in Special Olympics! Cade is a graduate of the PEEP program and is now a student at The Bancroft School.

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A preschool boy in an orange shirt smioling while touching bubbles that his teacher is blowing.

Finding Joy, Whatever Our Challenges

Every child deserves to live a life of happiness and fulfillment, but ‘happiness’ comes in many forms. A board-certified behavior analyst with The Bancroft School talks about ways parents and caregivers can help children of all abilities live their best lives.

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Three women sitting on a couch in their group home, smiling and posing for the camera.

Autism Resource Guide

Here are some resources you can use to celebrate Autism Awareness Month with your friends, family and community!

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A boy with an orange shirt and a girl with a blue shirt smiling on a rollercoaster

Autism Friendly Places to Visit

Trying to plan a fun (and safe) day out of the house? Look no further! Check out our list of autism-friendly places to visit in and around the tri-state area that offer sensory-friendly activities and provide individuals with special needs, a safe and nurturing environment to build social skills, cultivate friendships and have fun!

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Picture of all of the media about Autism: Rain Man, How to Dance in Ohio, Float, The Story of Luke, In A Different Key, Atypical, The Good Doctor, Parenthood, Kodi Lee, and Sesame Street

Movies, Documentaries & Shows About Autism

Whether it’s about autism or written by someone with autism, the options for movies, documentaries, TV shows & short films about autism and disabilities are endless. 

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a sticker that reads "SHARE YOUR STORY" in purple, blue, and green letters

Share your Real Me story or the story of someone you love at

sticker that reads "REAL me." in purple and blue letters

Honor someone you love with a donation and help us to keep supporting each other.

Catch more of the #RealMe on Instagram @Bancroftorg