Autism is a developmental, neurological disability. It impacts on how an autistic individual communicates, learns and relates to the world. It can also affect how the person moves their body and processes sensory information, like sights and sounds.
While awareness of autism is a good start, we believe that acceptance of autism is more important. Where awareness tell us about autism as a condition, acceptance shines a light on real autistic people, living real lives.
By accepting autistic children and adults as they are, and celebrating their strengths, talents and contributions to society, we open the door to compassion and understanding.
We have chosen the theme of flowers to put the idea of acceptance into perspective. All flowers are different, but all are beautiful. In much the same way, autistic people are different, but not less important than any others.
We know it may be difficult…
We know that asking parents and carers of autistic children to accept autism can elicit a very emotional response. Especially for parents who are very new to autism, accepting the permanence of autism is very hard. We know, we have been there. It takes time to come to terms with this new world. However, what we are suggesting is that you accept your child just as they are, in all of their wonderful, funny, complex, creative, mysterious glory.
When we do parent training, we tell attendees to ‘ask not what autism can do for you but what you can do for autism’. By this we mean that we must learn how we can help our children to be the happiest, most independent individuals that they can be. Instead of asking ‘how can I get my child to do this?’ ask ‘how can I help my child to do this?’
Learning to accept autism – the ups, downs and in-betweens – can help you move forward from a place of loss to a place of understanding – and sometimes even joy.
Here are some great resources to help you:
The Autism Acceptance Month website is an excellent place to find out more about the importance of autism acceptance.
Ally wrote a helpful post about Why Acceptance is Critical.
Amythest Schaber is a favourite of ours – she writes and speaks so eloquently on all things autism. Here she writes about why acceptance matters. Please be aware that Amethyst does not mince her words and her message may at first feel a bit abrasive.
And this video is the best thing we’ve seen in a long time! Alyssa’s Autism Acceptance Video.