[image description: brown background with a stamp of the A to Z challenge in the background. Writing on the top reads “A to Z participant (2017) then there is a large capital letter ‘A’ in the middle. Below the ‘A’ it reads “blogging from A to Z” below that it reads “http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ end of image description.]
This is my first post in the A to Z blog challenge.
Tomorrow (2nd April) is known to many as ‘autism awareness day’ and April known as ‘autism awareness month’ but to many autistic people it is known as ‘autism acceptance day’ and ‘autism acceptance month’
What’s the difference you might be thinking.
Well there’s a rather big one in both what the words mean and so often the organisations and message behind each one.
Awareness – knowledge or perception of a situation or fact
Acceptance – the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable.
Already from the definitions of the two words there is a great difference. To be aware of autism and autistic people, simply means you have knowledge we exist, it does not equate to thinking we are adequate or valid people.
The Westboro Baptist Church are aware of LGBT people, they know we exist, they however do not accept us, as to them we are not adequate or valid people. It is the same with many so called autism charities.
To accept autistic people means to actually think we are good enough as we are, that we don’t need changing or cures and to not promote changing us or curing us. It is to embrace the whole person, every single part of us and to not just tolerate us.
Accepting all autistic people, all of the time. I don’t want you to accept me only when i appear more neurotypical to you. I want to be accepted if I’m having a meltdown, or am non-verbal, when I am stimming, when I talk at you about the Tudor period. I want acceptance all the time, for me to be seen as good enough. As a valid and adequate person.
Autism acceptance comes from actually autistic people, where as autism awareness comes from autism speaks and other allistic organisations and people. Autism awareness doesn’t do good. Autism awareness is so often about changing autistic people to be more neurotypical, to make us seem like the problem and to push blame on to us.
As autism acceptance comes from autistic people, it is about embracing us as who we are. There is no wanting to change or be cured. It is about saying we are good enough as we are. We are valid, adequate and suitable people.
So accept me, all of me, all of the time. Don’t only be aware of me.
8 thoughts on “A is for Acceptance #atozchallenge ”
Visiting from A to Z, and I’ll be back. My brother in law has autism and he has been in my life some 27 years. Although I quoted Autism Speaks in my “A” post, I do not “light it up blue” nor do I hope for a cure for my brother in law – he isn’t diseased and there isn’t anything to cure. We are who we are. If someone can’t accept my brother in law, that is their problem, not mine, not his.
Hi thanks for visiting.
Glad to hear you support your brother in law and yeah of people can’t accept him it’s definitely their problem not his.
Best to just avoid autism speaks altogether. They really are horrendous and many autistic people and are allies boycott autism speaks.
I really hate how so many people and organizations think it’s possible to have discussions about autism without including the voices of actual autistics and Aspies! The Westboro Baptist Church had a lame “protest” by my former job at a Jewish newspaper. I got a lot of pictures of them standing by the roundabout below the hill our building was on. They “protested” the JCC, the Vaad (kosher certifying agency), the Jewish Federation, and a few other places on that visit.
Yeah it frustrates me so much.
So many places for autistic people only consult parents about our needs and they discuss young kids and often in a very negative way. So everything is aimed at kids. I’m nearly 27 and finding places I can go like support groups is so hard, and I’d want one that is actually ran by or includes actually autistic people in it. Because I am fed up of the autistic community being talked over.
Urgh the WBC are just vile, the way they protest things like funerals and celebrate terroist attacks. And the way they indoctrinate their kids is evil.
A very good start to the Challenge! Looking forward to more!
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
The Sound Of One Hand Typing
Thank you John.
The people of Westboro Baptist are cruel and short-sighted.
With time, we all grow in acceptance with ourselves. As a woman of 60 I got tickled with the plea for acceptance when you have a meltdown. I don’t think anyone likes to be around someone having a meltdown, lol.
Visiting from A to Z, have a good challenge.
Hey, It’s Ann from So Much to Choose From and
Well if someone can’t accept me when I’m having a meltdown then they aren’t really someone I want to have in my life.
I’m not saying it’s easy to be around someone having a meltdown, it can be hard to watch someone in that situation, knowing someone is in pain and sometimes hard to know how to help. But I still wish for acceptance in those moments just as much as any other moments.
I’ve been round people I know who are distressed in various ways and it’s not pleasant to be around, but because I know someone who is having a hard time, who is finding something challenging or difficult to deal with, but they need my acceptance more than ever in those situations. For me to not just go away and not want to help them because I don’t accept them, they need my acceptance, that having difficult times doesn’t mean I accept them any less.