April has for the last six years marked Autism Awareness Month for many parents of families affected by autism. For the people with autism themselves, the problem with Autism Awareness Month is that it is too focused on autism from a parent’s perspective (the puzzle of autism), such as how they autism is confusing to them and they cannot understand it, and how it must be due to some environmental or social cause, such as bad parenting or vaccines. Autism Acceptance Month, however, deals with a different approach. It believes in making autism and the behaviors and traits associated with them and why autistic people do them to be understood accurately and factually, free from bias.
Autism Acceptance Month furthermore deals with all aspects of an autistic person, such as autistic adults who face the same issues that today’s autistic children will face when they get older, such as employment, higher education, and love and relationships, all things that make the need for services for children and adults with autism all the more critical, and can be used to measure the comfort and quality of all people’s lives, including those with autism.
For this reason I have decided to post more for The Autist Dharma this month than I have before. As many people consider this time to be Autism Awareness Month (which should indeed be every month), they will most certainly be visiting this page much more often, and I plan to use this time of unprecedented attention to raise awareness of autistic people’s lives from our point of view. This first week I plan to have two or three different autism posts related to these issues. In addition, this week and every other week during the month of April, I plan to have a post on the lives of various individuals throughout our society, including highly influential one’s in politics, sports, business, and so forth, and how their lives and careers as well as ours would be if it were not for particular individuals past and present, such as Thomas Edison and Thomas Jefferson, who happened to have autism. For the point of these posts, I have avoided doing your average article of lists and biographies of famous people with autism, which you can find anywhere by looking up ‘famous people with autism” on-line.
I have also decided to do forums for people with autism open to all autistic people and their loved ones one issues facing them such as vocation, secondary and post-secondary education, love and relationships, housing, and recreation. These will be open to all people regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, nationality, marital status, and so forth to whoever applies. For this there is no need to be a follower of The Autist Dharma or to have any prior connections to it so forth. They will be open only during the month of April to make next April’s discussions more suitable for viewers to catch up on, and I will try and post then all at least seven days in advance of the next week and the end of April to give plenty of time for commenting. The point of these forums is to gain a better since of how communities can provide better services and resources to autistic people, so I hope for the purpose of these forms that all those who come upon them will take the time to join in them. Please remember to be kind and respectful to everyone who takes part in these discussions. Those comments which are not, I will delete when I find the time, so remember that and join us for this month’s discussions on the world of autism. Happy Autism Acceptance Month!