Educating The World About Autism & Neurodiversity
One Classroom at a Time
Peers, Schools, Our Communities
Autism & Neurodiversity
Our Autistic & Neurodivergent Friends
At Families For Inclusion, our mission is to promote education about autism, neurodiversity, and inclusion in elementary schools, and to assist the process wherever we can.
Our goal is for every elementary school classroom in the country to provide a standard, age-appropriate educational program about autism, neurodiversity, and inclusion for their students, staff, and parents, as well as to create a culture of inclusivity, understanding, and belonging for every child in special education or with an IEP.
In Bookstores Now!
Theodore Bearkins Lost His Blue Sunglasses, written by FFI founder Gina DeGregorio-Sonbert, is available now wherever books are sold!
Theodore is the FIRST-EVER autistic, non-speaking main character in a children's picture book series where autism is NOT the focus of his tale. He is a sweet, silly bear who doesn't speak much, but expresses his thoughts in lots of other ways.
These books are geared toward all children, particularly those who do not know someone with ASD, as a way to naturally introduce children to autism and inclusion in a subtle and non-obvious way, maybe even without them realizing it!
ALL kids find Theodore fun and engaging, whether they realize he has autism or not. Neurodivergent and neurotypical kids alike relate to his stories, feelings, and experiences, setting the example that we are all different, yet all the same.
Theodore Bearkins is the perfect series for teaching inclusion and friendship in the classroom. The end of each book features a story discussion guide which includes tips on talking to early elementary children about autism, differences, and inclusion.
Reminiscent of fan favorites The Monster At The End of This Book, and The Book With No Pictures, Theodore Bearkins brings the reader physically into the story for lots of silly fun!
Why Join Us?
There are simply not enough autism inclusion and neurodiversity education programs taught to general-ed students in U.S. schools. And without them, students who identify with those populations, many of whom cannot speak for themselves, lose their sense of understanding, belonging, and community within their own classrooms and among their peers. This makes it necessary and urgent to bring this education to our schools now so that our autistic and neurodivergent kids can feel like the integral parts of their school communities that they are. This is their right and they deserve it.
And let's start with our youngest students, because their natural curiosity and limited preconcieved notions and biases about the world makes them more open and receptive to new information. Let's teach them about the beauty of neurodiversity and the importance of inclusion as early as possible so they can live and model those values their entire lives, creating a more inclusive and accepting generation.
How To Join Us
*Teachers! We love teachers! If you're a teacher, use our free worksheets and resources in your classroom! Or, request an FFI advocate to speak to your class here.
*Parents & caregivers, reach out to your children's elementary school principals, school leaders, district leaders, or school board members and ask about their autism inclusion and neurodiversity education plans. Direct them to our free worksheets and resources, or here to request an FFI advocate to speak to their schools.
*Contact your local, state, and federal lawmakers and inform them of the importance of neurodiversity and autism inclusion education for general education students in elementary schools.
*Become a part of the Portrait Project! Draw a self-portrait, tag it, and post it! A quick and simple way to show support!
Join Our Mission
Whether you're a parent, sibling, caregiver, family member, teacher, school leader, student, friend, community member, or you're neurodivergent yourself, there's a way for you to make a difference in the lives of our autistic and neurodivergent friends and loved ones.
The Portrait Project
Ready to do something quick, easy, and effective to help out right now? Join the Portrait Project to show our school districts, lawmakers, and the world that we're all different, but we're all the same. And we're all for inclusion.
Draw a self-portrait! Use any medium, any paper, any writing utensil. Be creative, be silly, be artistic, or be a stick figure! The purpose is to show that we're all different (because we all look different and see ourselves differently), and we're also all the same (because we're all for inclusion.)
Write your first name and where you live somewhere on your drawing. Add the hashtag #imforinclusion on the drawing as well. If you're feeling extra inclusive, you can add #elevateautism and @familiesforinclusion on the drawing too!
Take a pic of that beautiful self-portrait and post it everywhere! Be sure to add the hashtag #imforinclusion (and #elevateautism) and tag Families For Inclusion so you will be featured on our social media pages. All pics posted will also be added to our Portrait Project page on this site. Let's show the world that we're all for inclusion!
FB, IG, TikTok, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube,
Neurodiversity refers to the idea that differences in brain function and behavior are natural variations within the human population and should be recognized and respected, rather than pathologized or stigmatized. FFI believes that neurodivergent individuals, such as those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or other neurological differences, possess unique strengths, abilities, and perspectives that are valuable to society.
FFI promotes the need for acceptance and accommodation of neurodivergent individuals, rather than trying to make them conform to societal norms. This is why we advocate for changes in the social structures of education to better support and include neurodivergent individuals.
Overall, FFI seeks to promote a more inclusive and respectful understanding of neurological differences, highlighting the beautiful aspects of neurodiversity and challenging negative stereotypes and discrimination.