Today is the beginning of Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month and as you can see I put two honoraries because the world is unsure if it wants to either make people aware of Autism or encourage people to accept those on the spectrum. I encourage both awareness and acceptance.
Let’s start with awareness. I think the world is aware of Autism and some of it’s symptoms. It has been portrayed since the late 1980s with the film Rain Man to today’s series of The Good Doctor and Atypical. However, they’re just portrayed. I wrote a blog post about portrayal recently. However, the media does what I believe is a disservice at times pointing out those on the spectrum like those who are mass shooters or do harmful things. I’m not saying that autism all sunshine and rainbows out there. There are certainly a whole slew of issues, many disturbing to some. We’re all not incapable, nor are all on the spectrum a savavnt. Many recently put in perspective,“if you met one person on the Autism Spectrum, you’ve met just that, one per person on the spectrum.”
We do our own thing and were all not the same or comparable, please don’t do this. Another noteworthy question out there is “do I look autistic?” This deters me sometimes from even putting it out there that I have Autism, because then “the look” is then judged upon.
Now let’s share gears to a more friendlier subject, acceptance. There no undoubtedly needs to be more acceptance of Autism. Because no person is autistic in the same way, it makes it cumbersome at times to garner acceptance from community members. We should have the basic human rights as others do in the least restrictive environment possible, but ultimately if able, it should be the individuals choice that is not only suited for their needs, made for them to be successful and thriving members if society and community.
Likewise, if a person is able to navigate the world on their own with or without accommodations, as long as they want to, than it should be done. We should be accepted for who we are and what we do and not looked down because of a label or stigma. We should have the same human rights and be treated as a human being.
In closing, tomorrow’s post is that of a poem I wrote. I encourage all if you can tomorrow to wear blue for Light it up blue day, the annual autism day across the world. As part of awareness, my family walks annually in the Laurel Highlands autism walk and we raise money for the genome research and to help others transition. I will be explaining why I chose this charity later this week. If you find it in your heart to do so, go here