The most awkward time of the year is upon the autistic community. This week is just the start… we have another three weeks of seeing so called awareness measures by certain autism companies. There is mass distrust of Autism Speaks (based in the United States) when it comes to their awareness measures. If those of you who don’t have autism would like to be supportive this month then please don’t light it up or wear the colour blue.
Please also check the resources that come out regarding Autism Awareness Month. Those of us who are autistic tend to feel pushed underneath masses of misinformation on autism awareness month every year. We don’t actually get heard amongst all the media-generated noise. We should be the ones to educate the public on the reality of being autistic. There is a vast amount of damage done by those educating the public falsely during this month.
I urge the public not to listen to non-autistic professional talks given this month. In reality, those professionals taking the opportunity to add to their portfolio of expertise are doing more damage to those they’re claiming to went to bring awareness towards. We want more than just awareness. Society is already aware of autism. They need educating regarding how to understand the condition. The people who aren’t autistic cannot effectively break the aspects of autism down in to understandable chunks because they are speaking on a perspective of assumption… whether that is their intention or not. There is no one in this world that can make a connection with an audience if they aren’t discussing things that they’ve experienced first hand. We prefer that the goal of awareness is changed to acceptance. Acceptance can only happen if those of us that are actually autistic speak from the heart about our true life experiences. There has to a relationship built with the public where they are able to connect to shared experiences which leads them to imagine what it is like to be autistic. That is what I try to do on my blog and other work. The only way to change the world perspective is to try to connect on a personal level with the audience (in this case the public and society at large). That requires not just doing talks as a professional or autism organisations. You’ve got to put the effort in to meet the public half way with aspects of being human that induce an understanding within them… so that you have an opening in their consciousness which causes them to actually listen rather than just being passive without learning how to accept difference.