Friday, February 17, 2012

It’s Time to Take Back April! Autism Acceptance Day and Month

It’s Time to Take Back April! Autism Acceptance Day and Month
Last year in March (2011) I had read one too many posts by Autistic friends and acquaintances, for one too many years, about how much they dreaded the approach of April. From on-campus “awareness” campaigns that featured shocking and alarmist stunts, to the media blitz, often negative and usually without the participation of Autistic people other than as interesting news items to be commented on (let alone the idea of actually consulting someone on the autism spectrum before producing one of these biased programs), the onslaught was making a lot of us feel devastated, and I am not talking about “devastating disorder.” April was continuing to be one long, drawn-out exercise in gritting our teeth and trying to make it through the month.

No More! We are taking back April. I am talking about: People on the autism spectrum who have had enough of “awareness” that leaves us out: Nothing About Us Without Us! I am talking about: Parents of kids on the spectrum who want to turn off the TV for the entire month so that their kids don’t have to see demeaning portrayals and dire statistics about themselves. No, our kids are not just the stuff of epidemiology. I am talking about: the community, and that means everyone, whether or not they are in the “autism world,”- the general public- who deserve to see a more balanced approach to discussions of autism, because they will no doubt encounter someone on the spectrum at some point, and will need something more than “more prevalent than pediatric cancer, AIDS, and diabetes.”
Please join us in writing about Autism Acceptance. You can post here (by contacting me at pdurbinwestby@gmail.com until I figure out how to accept direct submissions here), by posting to our Facebook event and group, and by doing whatever you can or feel like doing to promote Autism Acceptance.
Take Back April! Autism Acceptance Month!
http://www.facebook.com/events/307262445978535/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/109054042508075/

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