Monday, April 22, 2013

1 in 50? It is Time for Autism Advocacy

image by Jay Javier via:

The big news this year for autism in April is that the emphasis has changed from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance. If your life has been touched by someone with autism, then you are plenty aware of autism. The newest study to come out is that the incidence of autism is at 1 out of 50 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. 
 There has been enough media coverage of autism that I think acceptance is the important direction to follow. There have been many irresponsible stories about autism. Too many to cite here, one has been the vaccine debacle, which millions of dollars have been diverted from truly helpful research to proving a irresponsible "doctor" wrong. Another issue that seems to keep coming up is the media's fascination with linking mass violence with autism. They tried to make a connection with the Colorado movie theater shooter and also with the Newtown shooting. This is not only irresponsible it is dangerous. It is akin to bullying.
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 Most individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder,) have been bullied. Not only that but since they may lack the social skills or language to report it, it often happens repeatedly before the proper authorities have been made aware of the situation. The proper authorities have to be educated on how to deal with bullying of ASD individuals properly. People living with autism can expect to be bullied repeatedly over the course of their lives. It is imperative that we teach our children to report when they become targets for bullies. 
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 It is very important to learn to advocate and to teach our children how to advocate for themselves and to be resourceful in their dealings with those who would like to take advantage of their situation.
So I would propose that we not just focus on awareness, or even acceptance but advocacy for ourselves and our children.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true, well written and clear. I think we both know that -regardless of the month- it must be done.