As April rapidly approaches I am already seeing social media fights over colors, symbols, and whether we need to be aware or accept Autism.
I want acceptance. I want it for myself and my son who are both neurodiverse and don’t always fit in with neurotypical people. To belong and not need to plead and beg like a sad dog does for a bone for basic accommodations to make our lives easier.
But I think that we still need awareness as well.
We need awareness because I still scroll through social media and get warned that vaccines cause Autism. Baby food causes Autism. The things you ate, drank, and possibly touched while pregnant caused Autism.
We need awareness because when I scroll through Amazon for books and find out how to cure Autism.
We need awareness because parents will sometimes do unsafe things, like bleach enemas. And there are practices out there that will fleece them blindly.
We need awareness because there is still backward thinking out there that Autistic people are either super-geniuses or a vegetable.
We need awareness because schools and special education can follow outdated and harmful practices and not provide the support needed for children’s success.
On the flip side, there is acceptance.
We need acceptance for who we are.
We need acceptance so people can listen to our voices.
We need acceptance so the world can see what we can do, not our limitations.
We need acceptance so we can thrive.
But how do we do both? Are we truly ready for acceptance when we live in a world dominated by so many inequalities with race, gender, and religion?
I wish I had some really fantastic and cerebral answers that solved all of this. Or a magic wand.
What I do believe is that for now, we need both and they can coexist. I will continue to advocate and educate for both.