Thursday, April 7, 2016

On Autism Acceptance Month

We put so much into trying to reclaim “Autism Awareness Month,” our reactions informed by trauma, abuse, neglect, and pain. It is the month where many of us are surrounded by blue lights and puzzle pieces. We turn to seeking those out and commenting furiously, fueled by pain and anger – with mixed results. We write long blog posts and hold acceptance events trying to counter the flood of “awareness.”

We have made some progress, such as Apple calling it “autism acceptance” with no mention of “awareness.” This is important that people saw it called acceptance, though many don't have access to iPads, which is concerning and needs to be addressed. We're getting the word “acceptance” more mainstream.

But what if we put some of the same energy into claiming our other Autistic holidays that we made ourselves? Autistic culture can blossom further if we allow our holidays to grow, to become cultural phenomena that is talked about outside autistic circles:

·         June 18 – Autistic Pride Day  
·         November 1 – Autistics Speaking Day
·         November – Autistic History Month 

I do not oppose working for acceptance during April, obviously! I am of course against LIUB and the like. But what if we put some of that April energy into being for things relating to autistic culture and pride, instead of mostly focusing on a month where it's a constant being against things like Autism Speaks and “awareness,” which can be exhausting? 

What do you think? 

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