It’s April so you know what that means? It’s Autism Acceptance Month!
You may have seen both the terms autism awareness and autism acceptance being used. Keep reading to learn the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance.
The History of Autism Awareness Month:
Over 50 years ago, the Autism Society held the first National Autism Awareness month in April of 1970. The purpose was bringing more awareness to the existence of autism in order to campaign to find a cure.
We now know that autism is a neurotype. It is not a disease that needs a cure.
Shifting from autism awareness to autism acceptance means that instead of looking at autism as a problem that needs to be solved, we work to support and include autistic individuals in society.
And this does make a huge difference.
Imagine how it would feel to be told that you are broken and need to be fixed.
So instead of just increasing our awareness of autism, we should push for true autism acceptance.
Shifting from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance:
3 ways we can make the shift from autism awareness to autism acceptance:
Embrace differences and support challenges. We can support inclusion while also removing barriers so that all individuals are included in society.
Use the infinity symbol instead of the puzzle piece. The puzzle piece is associated with the idea that autism is a puzzle that needs to be solved. Autistic people don’t need to be solved, they need to be understood. The infinity symbol represents the infinite possibilities and strengths of autistic individuals.
Move away from light it up blue campaigns - these campaigns are associated with Autism Speaks and there are much better associations out there run by autistic individuals such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network - https://autisticadvocacy.org/
Let’s embrace and support neurodiversity together by making the shift!
If you want more information on these 3 tips, check out our Youtube Show: Making the Shift Episode 47