April is National Autism Awareness Month, and April 2nd is our designated Awareness Day (since April 1st might have been problematic).
You all are plenty aware, as are many.
“Hey, Hunter, since it’s Autistic Awareness Month, I wanted to say that I’m more aware of your autism.”
Ok, that’s great.
We need to start moving past this basic awareness and into action.
And, lo and behold, even the Autism Society says it:
[W]e want to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.
Acceptance and Appreciation.
Do you even know what you’re asking for?
Accepting things like me not functioning professionally in group working sessions and needing time to myself to work on things?
Appreciating my too-often clumsy bluntness that still cuts through inefficiency and into truth?
I’ll admit I still have a lot of rough edges, but in the end:
We need less awareness.
We need more acceptance and appreciation.
We work hard to meet you where you’re at, surely you can return the favor.
In the next few posts, I hope to tackle some of these tough topics of acceptance, appreciation, the “right kinds of awareness”, this puzzle piece thing (?), and maybe even why autism is a key element of inclusion and diversity (!)
Happy April, all!