April is Autism Acceptance Month which starts on World Autism Day on April 2nd, and we’re getting ready to celebrate at Ranch Ehrlo and in our communities.

Ranch Ehrlo has alternative education programs and supported living programs for people with neurodiversity and differing abilities.

There has been a change in the perception of neurodiversity in the human services field. Rather than viewing it as something that needs to be “fixed”, now professionals are encouraging people to look at it as just different.

Marie Keys, cognitive disability consultant, said, “The growing movement within the differing abilities community is neurodiversity. There is no right way to be – thinking learning, behaving.”

She went on to say that differences should not be considered as deficits. People are unique and should be accepted for who they are.

Janelle Wilson, cognitive disability consultant, agrees with Marie, “Rather than trying to change neurodivergent people to mask, adapt, and fit into neurotypical culture, we need to make changes our communities to make space and embrace these differences.”

She said education on neurodiversity is important for children, professionals providing interventions, schools, workplaces, and society as a whole.

Marie said, “Not taking autism out of the individual, but instead celebrating the differences and unique qualities they bring to the world.”

Read about Ranch Ehrlo’s Supported Living Program and alternative education opportunities.