We Promote Autism Acceptance. Do You?
With April just around the corner we are gearing up for Autism Awareness month with Light it up Blue on April 2nd, where we encourage everyone to Light it up Blue to support Autism Speaks and spread awareness of autism spectrum disorder. We are also participating as vendors in the pavilion at the Autism Speaks Walk for Autism on April 18, 2015 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. We are big advocates in the work that Autism Speaks does and spent 2014 pushing for autism awareness.
Now, in 2015 we have noticed that awareness is reaching new levels. Autism events, news, and programs are growing and people are more and more aware of what autism spectrum disorder is, so this year we want our focus to be on autism acceptance. It’s important to not only be aware of the growing rate of autism diagnosis, but to also spread acceptance of those who are diagnosed with autism. So what is the best way to spread acceptance?
- Remember that autism does not define a person. It is merely a condition that they have. They are not autistic, they HAVE autism, but they are first and foremost a person, a child, a family member and a friend.
- Remember that each person, both typical and someone on the autism spectrum are all individuals. Having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum does not make them the same as everyone else on the spectrum. They have their own interests, their own strengths and their own weaknesses, so get to know them and don’t just assume you know who they are because of their diagnosis.
- Remember that children who have been diagnosed with autism deserve to be with other children, they have the right to interact with their peers. Do not separate or segregate them because you don’t know how to handle them. Allow them the support they need and let them learn from their peers and teach others, as all children do.
- Remember that each child deserves to be part of society, to work, to build relationships and grow up to be educated and motivated enough to make the world a better place; and to live to their fullest potential.
Most of all remember that autism acceptance means valuing people who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum instead of being afraid of them. Be kind, be open-minded and know that we are all people learning and growing at our own pace. Some of us need a little added support, so be the support that someone needs, open your minds and your hearts , stop categorizing those that are not like you, and honor human diversity by making sure that everyone is valued, included and contributing what they can to society.