Why I need Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month is an autistic-led movement, during which we do not bring in all sorts of “OMG autism 😱” fear tactics. In this version, the autistic community strives for acceptance from the world, aiming to stop fear-mongering campaigns or at least have a say over them.

I mean, much of us do this year-round, but during April is when allistic folk finally decide to focus on autism again like there’s no tomorrow, so we use all the other months in the year for, uh, rehearsal?

I need autism acceptance because…

“Awareness” is what people do for cancers and illnesses and diseases in hopes of helping find a cure. It’s something you donate to for more “awareness”. Autism is inseparable from the person—it is an identity just as much as one’s race or sexuality. You wouldn’t say, “She has gayness,” but rather, “She is gay.”

Autism is not a disease. It’s programming.

I need allistics to respect my language preference and stop talking over me, or shoving in my face their preferred usage as if I should use it instead. I do not “have” autism. You cannot remove it from me like you can remove my glasses. I am autistic. It’s as much a part of me as my dark auburn chestnut hair.

Autistics are more likely to die young, the top cause courtesy of premature death by suicide. Autistic children are 28 times more likely to commit suicide than their allistic peers. It’s the highest above other communities and groups of people. It’s a growing problem, and it’s terrifying. We are not accepted by much of society, but society is well aware of our existence. They want many of us gone; they want to sterilise us and put us all on our own island. Some allistics think we deserve to be in prison, because “at least it would stop massacres”.

If more people accepted us instead of working against us, maybe there would not be over 13 million search results for “autistic am I a burden”—maybe we wouldn’t feel like all hope is lost for us because people don’t think we can function as we are in this world.

With acceptance, the world would be a more accessible place, adapted for people of numerous needs and not just one in which able-bodied people rule and roam.

The world needs us. Whilst it’s a bit sickening how autistics are being romanticised like this, companies are finally coming around and realising how valuable an asset we are. We think of things our allistic counterparts don’t. We think outside the box.

Temple Grandin is not the poster lady for autism. I don’t even consider her an ally, because she’s said some cruel things on par with the anti-autistic autistic (I know). When you know of one autistic, you know of one autistic.

Autism is not this new thing. There are more people being diagnosed autistic because there are more accessible resources for it.

We don’t need people to mourn for us.

You don’t have to pay to spread love and acceptance. Light it up red instead of blue. All “Blue” is is an advertisement for Autism $peaks, the color blue originating from the idea of only boys being autistic.

Red is for love; it’s all-inclusive. 💖❤

I encourage you to visit the official Autism Awareness Month website for more information and resources.

Twitter chat panelist

April 3rd, I’m participating in NEDA’s Twitter chat about autism, body image and eating disorders. I’m a panelist. My Twitter handle is @gotjane.

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Comments on this post

Michelle’s gravatar

I feel like that with mental illness, but I know it’s crucial for anything to have their own awareness month.

Liz’s gravatar

It’s acceptance month. Autism is not a mental illness, either. It is a neurological developmental disorder. There is a difference.

Michelle’s gravatar

Oops, wrong word XD sorry about that. I know it isn’t, I was just saying from what I suffer from. Sorry for the lack of clarification.