Autism Awareness Month is not simply for parents raising a child or
children diagnosed with autism. This month is for everyone. For parents of typical children, grandparents, friends, coworkers, teachers, social workers, police officers, employers, store clerks, etc. This is the month — I hope — that the world discovers the secret to autism awareness. What’s that secret?
The secret to autism awareness is acceptance.
Autism acceptance means more than love and understanding. It means belonging. Belonging to a family, belonging to a school, belonging to a group that shares common interests, belonging to a group of co-workers, belonging to a community — small or large.
Autism acceptance means belonging to humanity. It means that the world sees individuals with autism as belonging to the human experience.
Autism acceptance means that individuals will be valued for the things they do well and not stigmatized because they do certain things in a non-typical way.
Autism acceptance means that those who cannot speak and who might need more time and support to achieve goals, or might experience anxiety will still be respected for who they are and given the supports they need. And they all have the right to dignity.
Awareness promotes acceptance of individuals with autism as family members, sons, daughters, spouses, friends, classmates, co-workers, community members, and fellow citizens making valuable contributions to our world and communities.