Thursday, April 2, 2015

What Does Autism Awareness Mean?

Today is Autism Awareness Day. Individuals and organizations have been working hard to build awareness about autism. I am thankful that awareness is growing.

But what does autism awareness even mean?

The first step is knowing what autism is. Autism is not a disease. Autism not a bad parenting choice. Autism is a disorder. Autism is also a spectrum. The symptoms range form relatively mild to quite severe. Knowing one person with autism does not tell you much about autism in general. Autism affects learning, communication and social interactions. If you know this much, you have made a good start.

The other step is to know people with autism. You cannot be truly autism aware until you are aware of the people who have autism. Autism is not just theoretical, it is about people. When people talk about 1 in 68, I don't think of statistics, I think of Logan and Abby. People with autism have likes and dislikes, personalities, fears, relationships and everything else that all people have. To be autism aware means that we need to see beyond the label and to see the person.

Happy Autism Awareness Day and I hope that you have become a little more aware today.

This is what autism looks like

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