The Pride Palace community was created with the goal of making people feel loved, accepted, and valued.
This applies to all people. Today, we would like to bring some attention to our friends on the autism spectrum. According to the Autism Society of America, “autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation.” Currently, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. Therefore, it is important now more than ever to understand the difference between acceptance and awareness. While spreading awareness is always helpful, acceptance is the true goal.
Acceptance refers to favorable reception or approval of something or someone. Although autism awareness has definitely grown in the United States, it has sadly not yet reached full acceptance. On March 4th, 2021, the Autism Society of America, alongside other disability organizations in the country, announced the formal shift of “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month.” This is because acceptance is often a very big barrier. “As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system,” explained Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America.
1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This totals over 5 million young people and adults in our society. Clearly, this is a lot of people. As highlighted in the Autism Acceptance page, inclusion begins with acceptance. Being aware is one thing, but are you fully welcoming and accepting your autistic peers?
If you are looking for ways to become an even better and accepting ally, we’ve got you. Several disability organizations accept donations, no matter how big or small, and help ease the lives of those in the autism spectrum disorder as well as their family members and/or caregivers. The Autism Society uses donations to support autism education, awareness, advocacy, research, and more. You can donate here!
Final thoughts: While spreading awareness is always helpful, the true objective in being an ally is fostering autism acceptance. Remember to always use your voice to stand up for your community, whether you are a member or an ally.