Our class at AbleTalks has had frequent, in-depth discussions about autism awareness/appreciation/acceptance. The students are adults on the spectrum and I look to them for the expert “take” on many subjects – not all of them related to autism. Today (4/2) is World Autism Awareness Day. Some have shortened it to World Autism Day.
Before I print or publish anything related to AbleTalks, I try to consult my experts and, in this case, I am especially glad I did. When one person would say that awareness was unnecessary, another would disagree. Some considered it to be old news. One student found still it important to promote awareness. He shared that just by wearing a button, bracelet, or ribbon while working the drive-through at work, he created opportunities to share awareness. “There are moms with young kids that are happy to see me working at my job.” I shared with the group that decades ago, awareness was important because too many people had false or no information to ASD.
As we bounced around the various words attached to this month (awareness, appreciation, celebration, acceptance) it was unanimously felt that acceptance was most important. My students are young adults that desire opportunity and understanding – much like any 20-something.They are strong individuals who deserve much more than acceptance. Personally, I celebrate the hardworking individuals at AbleTalks and their astounding contributions to our world.
Nancy Wells, LPC, Executive Director