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News (Noticias)

Autism Acceptance: Empowering Neuro-diverse Minds

It’s about celebrating differences and accepting autism as a natural condition. That’s the way Danielle Castle, a Rocky Mountain Human Services Therapy Manager, explains the difference between “autism awareness,” and “autism acceptance.”

At first blush, it may seem like a small difference, but changing the way people look at autism can be an empowering reframe for people with autism, and families who have a child or a loved one with autism.

“I think acceptance leads to advocacy and that’s what is beneficial overall,” Castle said.

April is World Autism Month, a month set aside to honor and push for inclusion for people who have autism. At RMHS, our staff work with parents and loved ones to ensure they have support, services and coaching to they can best support their family members with autism.

Deputy Program Officer Amanda Lighthiser says RMHS supports people with autism across many programs. But it’s really not about a diagnosis.

“It’s more about what a person needs,” Lighthiser said. “We are focused on making sure they know all the services that are available to they can pick and choose what they need.”

Putting people – whether it’s children who are learning and growing, parents who need guidance or adults looking for particular supports – and their unique needs and wants at the center of consideration is how RMHS focuses its work.

During World Autism Month, RMHS hosted an online dance party to celebrate autism acceptance and neurodiversity. It was a joyous event that included participation in many ways. It celebrated diversity and acceptance – Just as RMHS does every day with the people we support.

To learn more about RMHS and the many ways in which we support the people who receive services from the organization, please visit

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