Awareness is Not Enough

We (The Autism Community) need for you to know what Autism is.

We can only achieve that through Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

Awareness of autism has risen dramatically in the past few years, and awareness is certainly a good place to start. Increased awareness has helped parents get earlier diagnoses for their children, and it has helped secure funding for research. However, it hasn’t done much to change public perception of what autism really is.

This is a call out to the world to understand the people and the disorder.

This is a call out to the world to accept the people and the disorder.

You can not understand or accept the people until you understand and accept the Autism they have.

Autism is a part of who they are.

The media has focused almost entirely on children with autism – but children grow up. In a society where one in 110 children is diagnosed with autism (the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control), no one can afford to ignore the significance of this disability. People with autism are children, teenagers, adults, men, women, scientists, programmers, engineers, unemployed, in care homes … too many of them continue to be bullied, to be judged, or to just be ignored.

Each person is unique. Each person has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses just like you or I.

The charities, the organizations, the groups, the parents, the people with Autism themselves… we ask you… no, we need you to know what Autism really is.

Today, we ask for your Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

This is what Autism is to me:

AUniversal Telescope Into Seeing Magnificence

At the age of two, my son Joey was diagnosed with severe pervasive development disorder. Joey had no form of speech except for frustrated high pitched squeals. He flapped his arms, swung in his chair for hours, slept and ate poorly, didn’t like to snuggle, and easily startled. He was tactile defensive, obsessed about certain items of toys, hated candles, car breaks, sand, smells, noise, being touched, and the list went on.

I was overwhelmed, confused and felt powerless. Accepting Joey’s diagnosis and embracing all the gifts his differences provided, allowed me the ability to adapt to his world—in turn helping him to achieve his best possible outcome.

Today, Joey is a junior at Brown University. He is a bright, happy, socially and emotionally adjusted young man with friends and peers alike.

Like our children, we are the chosen ones. We have been given a golden opportunity to step up and be the best parent we can possibly be. Higher powers suggest we are given what we can handle. We are the strong, sensitive, persistent, empowering advocates that our children need us to be.

Autism is truly an opportunity to see the magnificence not only in your child—but in yourselves as the parents, grandparents, educators, caregivers, family, and friends, who love them and celebrate all the unique gifts they bring to this world.

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