Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Autism Acceptance Day Post 2015

For me, and thousands of my friends in the fold of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and Autism Women's Network, we view April as Autism Acceptance Month. To many there might be some confusion as you may have heard some call it Autism Awareness Month. For us, we have changed it to Autism Acceptance Month because we feel while "awareness" tends to imply a passive pity for how autistics "don't fit in" acceptance means an active role... of refusing to be people who autistics cannot fit in with. Whereas Autism Awareness Month and a Day on April 2nd has focused on blue lights and puzzle pieces, Autism Acceptance Month focuses on reading poetry by and celebrating autistics, along with art, blogging, positive, unhumilitiating storytelling, and often donating to groups where you see openly autistic members in at least a third of their highest leadership giving the bulk of their funds to services allowing autistics to reach their highest potential and showing a balanced view of autism's strengths while respectfully respecting our challenges, bearing symbols like a rainbow infinity or a multi-colored pie chart showing that while autistics are diverse and part of a larger picture, it is a picture that naturally goes together to make a unified image with no beginning and no end. Double palms are also acceptable symbols, indicating many autistics need to flap their hands to self-regulate while still paying attention to those around them. We operate within a diversity model of disability and pan-disability culture, where all are responsible for any message they send.

I helped spread the word from the window of my dorm, with a sign that says, "Wear Gold for Autism ACCEPTANCE Month April 2, 2015/Gold=Au, Autism Acceptance, Beyond Awareness, and changed my profile picture to that. I also put up signs, one representing hand-flapping; one arm-flapping-two movements done to self...-regulate; one of two people embracing, representing autistics search for connection, like the logo of the National Autistic Society in the UK; one an infinity, representing the fluidity of autistic abilities, rather than being fixed; a brain with butterfly wings that I drew months earlier, along with my Autistic Pride sign, all done in black ink. 

I put out on the door of my dorm, in addition to my Autistic Self-Advocacy Network of Kansas City poster that I drew a few months ago, I put up an autism pie-chart logo, a design created by autistic Andrew Lerner, with four slices, one blue, one yellow, one green, and one pink, making a peace sign; with white eyes, the left one with the letter A and the one on the right with the... letter S for Autistic Spectrum or Asperger syndrome; while at the top it reads, "AS PIEces fit in piece." Its colors and pieces represent diversity within the autistic community only, unlike the puzzle piece symbol, they fit together naturally to make a coherent symbol. Along with it is a paint slip with various shades of gold for Autism Acceptance Day's Light it Up Gold as the chemical symbol for gold is Au, the first two letters of the word autism, which I made at a UCM Pinterest party, each part with a place where I might be at the time along with a white button on a red paper clip to point to them, red being for Light it Up Red, created like LIUG in response to blue lights used to raise money from pitiful images of autistics.

I made a cross drawn with blue in the background with rainbow stars along it to represent the autistic blue rainbow stars ribbon created by autistic Carol Ann Acorn (and its also Easter season), along with three drawings: a mandala (Buddhist-Hindu meditation image) that is a representation of Turkey's whirling dervishes, which I hung because of autistic activist Lydia Brown's long-time interest in Sufi music and dance; a triskele, an Asian symbol with three curved lines going the same direction in a circle, with one segment green, one segment red, and one segment yellow-the colors of ASAN's and the Autism Network International's color-coded communication badges, each corresponding to how comfortable you are talking to people at their meetings; another "mandala" that was inspired by a Moroccan tile design with various colors representing the diversity of autism, but diversity that is fluid and makes a complete natural picture, and it also has a yin-yang symbol in the middle representing how autism's existence as a disability and a difference exist in balance, and helping the disability should not be disrespecting the difference; along with a mandala thatis based off a kaleidoscope design, also with various colors representing the same thing, and how diversity of autism, or functioning labels, depend a lot on one's point of view, and it is a picture that can move around a lot, and it also has in it the shape of an eight-rayed star the symbol of the Men of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings, who represented honor and nobility.


Today for Autism Acceptance Day, I wore an Autism Acceptance Month t-shirt everywhere I went at UCM and in Warrensburg, that says, "Acceptance is Action," showing I'm not going to hide from who I am regardless of how others might think. Also, in honor of the various movements created in response to blue lights, Light it Up Gold, gold's chemical symbol Au being the first two ...letters of the word autism; Light it Up Red; Tone it Down Taupe; and Light it Up Orange, perhaps because orange is the color of the Celebrate Autism Foundation's autism spark symbol, I wore on my left wrist my red Buddhist prayer beads that I made from straws a year ago, which I don't normally wear; on my right wrist an orange bracelet that I made from cutting an orange bag along the sides and spinning the length and a gold paracord bracelet I made, especially considering Warrensburg is the home of an airforce base; on my neck my Lucky Buddha Beer bottle cap lockets, which are red, from the beers my dad gave me last year for Easter; and on my hoody I wore a gold ribbon pin, which used to be a puzzle piece ribbon, which many autistic's object to due to the idea there's a "missing piece" of them or they need to be put together, at I took apart, turned inside out, colored with a gold sharpie, and glued it back together; my pants today were taupe; and on my shoulder was a red bag, with other gold paracord bracelets I made to give to people for this day. I wore my grey UCM hoody instead of my regular blue hoody, and I made a commitment not to avert stranger's gazes as I walk past them or avoid interaction with people to avoid questions, and will go to eat in town to show this shirt to all I can. I also wore on my wrist a tile bracelet made from cardboard, with one an autism pie-chart symbol, a half-transparent butterfly symbol used by the Hidden Wings autism organization, a blue ribbon with rainbow stars created by autistic Carol Ann Acorn, an autism rainbow infinity symbol, a blue and white infinity symbol used by the Metis in Canada, rainbow scribbles representing "beautiful chaos" by autistic James McCue, the orange spark from the Celebrate Autism Foundation, and a porcupine symbol I created, representing autistics ability to defend themselves against larger groups without being aggressive, their affection even if they don't like physical contact, and the quills representing their voice even if they cannot speak. Through this, I plan to get the word out. Happy Autism Acceptance Day everyone!



  1. the things I do for autism acceptance I wore a gold shorts to workout in but do you know how many people who have autism there are 700 thousand people who have Autism or more 1 in 100 and in united kingdom there are 695,000 people who have autism so in total 1 million 395 thousand people who have Autism so we need alot of blessing for those people who have Autism.

  2. I can see you've been busy doing some research on this, Tyler. Indeed we are a group of people numbering over 70 million worldwide, and your wearing gold shorts to your workout is is step for all of them. Thank you for all your wisdom in the time I've known you, bud.