Due to my efforts, April is now called Autism Acceptance Month in Northern Virginia; I was instrumental in shifting minds and I am very excited!! Everyone is "aware" of Autism; the next true step for my community is ACCEPTANCE.
Autism Acceptance is about more than just you accepting your diagnosis or the diagnosis of your child; it is instead about our society as a whole accepting Autistics for who we truly are stims and all. Autism Acceptance is not about seeking "cures", it is anti-cure at its center, it is all about Neurodiversity. We have a unique set of characteristics that provide us with many rewards and challenges. The desire for a "cure" means that we are somehow broken, we are not, we all have something to offer.
Within the Autism Community people have been talking about Autism Acceptance and how we can make it happen in the wider community for years now. Days like Autism Acceptance Day, an online event, started by Paula Durbin-Westby in April 2011 (April 2nd), Autistic Pride Day started by Aspies for Freedom in June 2005 (June 18th), and my push to change April to Autism Acceptance Month in my area, etc. have been born out of this desire to have positive images and expressions about Autism to combat all of the horrible images associated with it. Slowly we are making a mark, but this is merely a start, in order for such things like Autism Acceptance Month, etc. to really make an impact we have to reach beyond these designated months and days, and make Autism Acceptance a priority in our communities every day.
Autism Acceptance should not be thought of one day or one month a year, it is something that we as a society need to strive toward each and every day. I ask that you work toward Autism Acceptance in each of your given communities every day, if we do not all work toward this common goal, for our Autistic selves and our Autistic children, there will be no hope for future generations.
I wish everyone a very Happy Autism Acceptance Day and for the rest of the month, a very HAPPY AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH! :) :)
Published April 2, 2012 on Google+