Tuesday, 9 April 2013

My Small Effort to Spread Positive Autism Awareness

I like this quotation from an excellent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Let me be clear -- autism is not a disease. Autism is a congenital variation in neurological structure -- and a lot of us take pride in our difference. We have our own heroes, leaders and traditions. Those of us who struggle with spoken language often participate seamlessly in the electronic conversation within our virtual clan. The digital revolution has allowed us to find one another and build supportive social institutions of our own. A few forward-thinking academic programs study our world as an independent minority culture."
Autism is not a disease.
Autism is a congenital variation in neurological structure.  
[We] take pride in our differences.  
I think those are the three things that first jumped out at me when I read this.  
It's Autism Awareness Month, and in my own small effort to spread some positive awareness about autism, I'm posting these three facts about autism and Autistic culture and I'm also asking my close friends to share these facts -- and others too, of course -- with the neurotypical community in order to tone down the alarmism and hate those uneducated about autism have a tendency to hurl toward us.  
It might be Autism Awareness Month, but unfortunately, this month of "awareness" seems to be more directed by neurotypicals trying to "cure" Autistics than by the Autistics themselves, Autistics like me, Autistics who accept that there are some challenges that come along with autism but are proud of their neurodiversity and the special gifts autism has given them.  
I don't have a disease.  I don't need to be cured.  
I have a congenital variation in neurological structure.  It makes me unique.  I add neurodiversity to our world.  
I take pride in my differences.  I take pride in my accomplishments.  I take pride in my confidence.  I take pride in sharing my experiences.  I am a proud Autistic.