Why I’m Still Fighting For Autism Awareness

Today, April 2nd, is Autism Awareness Day which many people have changed to Autism Acceptance Day. Here are my thoughts on why I’m still fighting for Autism awareness when many seem to have abandoned that cause in exchange for acceptance….

Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted about Autism saying that everyone is already aware of Autism. I’ve seen comments like that before from various people about how we don’t need Autism Awareness anymore but that we need Autism Acceptance instead. I agree that we need acceptance but I think we still need to be fighting for awareness. Until we have awareness of not only Autism existing but WHAT it is, we will never get the acceptance our Autistic community deserves.

You may be thinking that people *know* what Autism is already but I completely disagree. I believe most people have heard of it but I still believe that most people do not know what it is. Wondering why I think this? Because of comments I get like this….

  • “Your child doesn’t LOOK Autistic.”
  • “Will he outgrow it?”
  • “How did he get it?”
  • “My ______ (insert random person they know) has Autism and they _____ (insert random fact that makes them think they know what they are talking about)” and then assume my child is JUST like that person they kind of know.

The truth of the matter is that EVERY person who has Autism is different. It’s a spectrum disorder so no two cases of Autism will look exactly the same though there are sometimes similarities. Some of the above questions are asked by well-meaning people because they have questions and want to know more. Only after we (the Autism community) educate them on what Autism is will the process of acceptance truly be able to start.

So today, as everyone else pushes for acceptance, I’m going to continue pushing for awareness. The newest numbers show 1 in 68 children have Autism (it was 1 in 88). Autism is not going to disappear so I encourage everyone to learn more about it and then let’s talk about acceptance and inclusion.

 

Comments

  1. Children need their parents to fight for them…and to educate others on their behalf. Thank you for being a great mom, and for sharing resources about autism!

  2. I would feel quite offended if I read someone say we know about… we don’t need an “awareness day.” We may know about cancer, or obesity, or asthma, but that doesn’t mean we give up spreading awareness about a cause. It helps to show support and raise money to help others who are affected by the cause. How heartless! I was quite upset by the remarks made by Z list celebrities about the links of autism and vaccinations. I tweeted about it @dramamama83. I teach a 6th grade classroom and last year I had two students who are autistic and they are completely different and such a delight to teach. They made me much more aware of autism especially because my experiences with them were much different than with small children who are autistic. I adore these two boys and they still come to my room to say hi. Wish you the best!

  3. Samantha says:

    The more we know, the more we do better. SO important to keep conversations like this at the forefront. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Maryann D. says:

    I totally agree with you and I don’t believe most people understand about autism. I am currently in the process of having my adult son evaluated. I started this process when he was a few years old and I can see that it is not an easy diagnosis when the person is High Functioning. I am sure this is genetic and most likely more people are affected by this then we even realize.

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  1. Why I’m Still Fighting For Autism Awareness…

    Today, April 2nd, is Autism Awareness Day which many people have changed to Autism Acceptance Day. Here…

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