This Autism Awareness Month (AAM), take the time to promote acceptance, spread public awareness, and foster meaningful change to create a truly inclusive society.
Autism is a developmental disability that influences human behaviors like social interactions, communication, and relationship building. The symptoms of autism present themselves in many ways through different combinations, ranging from mild to severe. Specifically, the Sensory System, with some people being hypersensitive to touch, sound, and lighting while others may be hyposensitive, meaning they need additional sensory input.
Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic bounds. It is the fastest growing developmental disability with 1 in every 54 children being diagnosed with autism and more than 3 million individuals in the United States already being on the spectrum. The diagnosis rate for autism has risen by 10-17% annually.
Let’s talk about how we can celebrate AAM and help our neurodivergent friends, family, and neighbors year-round.
Learn about autism – Take the time to learn about this neurodevelopmental disability, the many ways it presents itself in people, and the many myths commonly associated with it.
Accept them for them – Encourage others to accept people with autism. Acceptance is a barrier that many people with autism face. Acceptance brings opportunities in education, housing, health care, and employment.
Be kind – It is important to be mindful of the language we use. Avoid using functioning labels (low-functioning/high-functioning autism) when speaking about people with autism. Always make sure to ask about how they would like to be identified (people-first or identity-first language).
Amplify autistic voices – Listening to autistic voices is one of the most effective ways to accomplish all the aforementioned items. Follow and learn from organizations that are managed for and by self-advocates.
To celebrate AAM, Sunrise is proud to announce that we are selling Neurodiversity/Autism Acceptance shirts. This is a wonderful way to proudly display your acceptance and allyship to the autistic community. Click here to purchase your Sunrise Neurodiversity/Autism Awareness shirt.
Here are some additional resources to better educate yourself and others about neurodiversity. Learn more about Autism from the perspective of people with Autism. There are resources available for self-advocates or people who want to support their neurodivergent friends.
Knowledge leads to understanding. Understanding leads to acceptance. Acceptance leads to inclusion.