World Autism Day
This week has been Autism Awareness Week and today is World Autism Day .Organisations around the globe are putting on events to raise awareness .
Everyday for me and for the rest of our team is Autism awareness day .My Autism is a part of what makes me unique and gives me a different perspective.I view the world through a different lens as do two of my four children .I am shouting out on this day not just for Autism Acceptance but for Acceptance of Neuro Diversity as a whole .Acceptance of People as they are .
We all have good times and we all have bad and we all make mistakes .No one is perfect .We all have our difficulty’s and challenges .We all find life hard at times .
Instead of looking at me and everyone else who doesn’t quite fit into the social norm with either pity or condemnation try looking at the differences in others with compassion and acceptance .
Open not just your minds but your hearts to the diversity that exists in all of us
Together we make up the Spectrum of Humanity Just like every colour of the rainbow -Every shade of skin -Every Race and Every Religion
We all laugh and we all smile .We all cry and we all grieve
Accepting the differences in others begins the day you accept your own uniqueness .
I have always been rejected socially because of my differences even when I have tried to conform to fit in .It’s not that I can’t make friends because I can .I know how to be socially acceptable Over the years I learnt how to be polite and I learnt to understand the complexities of social behaviour .I worked hard to understand these things because they didn’t come naturally to me ,I had to study very hard ,reading for hours about subjects such as how to read body language and how to communicate despite this I have too often been rejected because of my differences and because I can’t be the friend people expect me to be .
Because I choose to have a very small social circle others often assume that I don’t like people but that is far from the truth .I am just not comfortable I enjoy company and relish having interesting conversations but I also have many challenges that I have to overcome besides my Autism including severe sensory challenges which mean that in the greater scheme of things a vast social life with lots of friends is not really high on my list of importance .I don’t have the energy left to put on a mask that hides my differences from the world. or too continually have to relearn ever changing social rules
The rules of society are changing so quickly ,we are now discussing societal issues that were until recently not talked about because of the stigmas attached .When I was growing up those with learning disabilities or mental health problems were still institutionalised .Locked away and hidden from the public view .What you didn’t see you didn’t have to accept .Sexuality and gender differences were not discussed Domestic Violence was acceptable and child abuse was never spoken about .These things are now openly discussed and there are many people advocating for the right to be different and against the discrimination that many minority groups experience
The world is changing .We are slowly becoming a more empathetic and caring society that sees people for their strengths rather than there weaknesses and focuses on their ability’s rather than there disability’s but we have a long way to go before we move from awareness to acceptance
Copyright Willow@The AWE Project