Did you know….
Did you know…
….tomorrow starts Autism “Awareness” month?
….Wednesday is World Autism Awareness Day?
….that the messages that came out of last week’s prevalence rates are damaging to Autistic people?
….that the messages that will come out in the month to come are even worse?
….that this is usually the month that I ward off Facebook, social media sites, and general autism information all together?
….that I am so happy that I’m no longer working for any autism/autistic organization so don’t have to be exposed to all of the crap at work all day, all night?
The truth is, this month that we are upon is dreaded by most Autistic people. Paula Durbin-Westby has been on a crusade for years to change it to Autism Acceptance Month. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has put together a large amount of branding for the month. Last year presented Tone It Down, Taupe! to counter Light It Up Blue.
And in the corner of the internet where you have just autistic people and neurodiversity proponents, it can look like real change is being made. The numbers are expanding. You see more parents turning away from the dark side. But sadly, it’s still not enough. Because if you have just 10 people on your Facebook list that don’t agree with you on autism politics, you can see the hundreds and thousands more that disagree with our views… or worse yet, disagree with our existence! And it can be a truly horrifying thing to see.
I’ve luckily never had to completely hate April. Both the boys’ birthdays are in April. It’s always a joyous month. Not only is April their birthdays, it’s also the month both were diagnosed as Autistic. We have reasons to celebrate April in our home without it being focused on the evil awareness banter.
So what can you do? You can….
….get together with like-minded people.
….come up with your own acceptance events.
….find a visit one of those corners of the internet where you won’t be exposed to the harmful message.
….fight it at every turn.
….stop combating autism and start combating ignorance.
….learn where these attitudes come from by looking up the eugenics movement of the early 20th century.
I wish it were an easy month to get through.
And I’m hoping we can make it through this one without another name being added to the Day of Mourning list.