Autism Acceptance Month
Happy April, Everyone!
April has two big events that fuel our passion. April features both Autism Acceptance Month and the Month of the Military Child. Both are worth celebrating, in our book! Since April 2nd was the annual UN-sanctioned World Autism Day, I want to focus on that first. We’ll talk about our passion for military-connected kids later this month.
This week Delfa shared an article with me about the first professional baseball player with autism, Tarik El-Abour, (note that I am using person-first language because the article does, so I assume this is from the style guide the journalist is using, as the autism community has generally accepted identity-first language). What I love about the story is the quote from Tarik’s mom who recognized his strengths and how the unique way his brain works could be an advantage in helping him achieve his goals (and becoming a professional athlete is a goal relatively few people achieve!). What I don’t love about the story is that they only featured a quote from Tarik’s mother, and we do not hear from Tarik at all when the article is about him. So, progress, but still a ways to go.
Which is why we should embrace Autism Acceptance Month in April and all year round.
A wonderful resource for Autism Acceptance Month is an organization we love, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN). I’d like to leave you with a quote from an ASAN article.
“Acceptance says ‘you are you, and that’s pretty awesome. I am me, and that’s pretty awesome.’ Acceptance seeks to meet us where we are, or at least far closer to equitably than awareness does. Those who accept are not seeing us as projects or as charity cases. Those who accept us don’t ‘tolerate’ us—they embrace us, differences and all. . .”
This is what we are all about at Kids Included Together- helping people embrace the full spectrum of human differences, increasing acceptance and understanding, and thereby creating stronger communities. For us, creating acceptance of children with disabilities is a year-round endeavor. Thank you for your effort and support.
As a person with Autism, I think it is FANTASTIC that you all are choosing to participate in Autism ACCEPTANCE Month instead of Autism Awareness. Thank you for all that you do.