Autism Awareness Month. Inclusion. Accommodations.

Apr 04, 18 Autism Awareness Month. Inclusion. Accommodations.
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Autism Awareness Month. Inclusion. Accommodations.

To be aware of something has nothing to do with how you approach the topic. To be honest, you can be aware and still discriminate. The actually autistic movement has shown us that people diagnosed with a disability are not just looking for you to be aware of their condition. Autistics want you to know them. Include them. Accommodate them by allowing their individual difference to demonstrate how unique we all are rather than single them out as being different.


Denying your fear or embarrassment is a mistake. Embrace it and overcome it. If your friend is making random movements and noises it is natural to initially feel all eyes on you. This is not the problem. The problem is when we allow these feelings to determine what we do. We can move past this embarrassment to a point of acceptance. These behaviors are different. Others may see them as a problem and feel uncomfortable. It is up to you to get past what others think about your friend and focus on her comfort. After all, they are YOUR friend. They put up with your bad breath, your bad singing, and your terrible haircut and still love you .


Here’s a scenario. You decide not to invite your autistic friend to a movie because they are sensitive to light. Don’t assume that because someone is sensitive to light means they would not enjoy going to see a movie. To the contrary, light sensitivity may mean you can’t see a movie with a lot of scenes with strobing lights or your friend may need to wear tinted glasses in a movie theater. Accommodate your friend’s needs just as you would want someone to accommodate that you are vegan or gluten-free.

Be more than aware

Being aware is answering a what question. What is autism? We need to answer the how questions of autism. How to remove the stigma from the diagnosis. How to eliminate the shock from family members when they see you take your autistic child everywhere (you’re doing your job as a parent, duh!). We need to move beyond awareness and embrace inclusion and accommodations.



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