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Autism
AwarenessMonth

April 2021

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What does autism acceptance mean to you?

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Scribble

We asked our autistic contributors:

What does autism acceptance mean to you?

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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I would like everyone to know that all individuals with autism are unique and special in their own way. Autism acceptance to me means being comfortable with who you are and accepting yourself completely.

– Keara Farnan

Keara on The Mighty
Keara on The Mighty
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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The thing I want people to know [this month and every month] is that we aren't broken. There is absolutely nothing wrong with us. Our brains are wired slightly differently from the Neurotypical population, but that doesn't make us any less. We are not failed Neurotypicals. Were perfectly formed autistic people.

– J.R. Reed

J.R. on The Mighty
J.R. on The Mighty
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Autism Acceptance is more than just taking the 'grin and bear it' approach to being aware that your friend/neighbour/classmate etc. is autistic. It means being willing to accept that the things that may make them 'different' are also what make them who they are. It means recognizing and trying to understand why some of those differences occur and focusing on whatever way you can help that person exist in whatever capacity is easiest for them.

– Richard Coffey

Richard on The Mighty
Richard on The Mighty
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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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I want people to know that Autism Acceptance Month is a staging point for the rest of the year. We don't just last a day or a month — acceptance is a year-long effort. We are here all the time! Acceptance includes accommodations and patience in the workplace and once we have the proper accommodation for our specific ASD then many of us are able thrive and achieve so much more than we are given credit for.

–B. Butcher

B on The Mighty
B on The Mighty
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Because autism is part of who I am, autism acceptance means accepting me and the people in my community. But acceptance doesn’t mean sharing an Instagram post or telling an autistic person how inspiring they are (please don’t do that actually).

The autism/neurodiversity movement has become centered around a lot of people like me - people who are comfortable verbally communicating and who can basically pass as neurotypical. This isn’t acceptance.

Autism acceptance is moving forward towards normalizing AAC and alternate forms of communication, educating on the importance of stimming and other misunderstood autistic behaviors, removing barriers to diagnosis for people of color and people of marginalized genders, and finally doing something about the 85% under/unemployment rate that we face.

– Louise Stone

Louise on The Mighty
Louise on The Mighty
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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Autism Acceptance Month is a chance for all of us to listen to autistic individuals and learn how the world can be a better place for us. Autism Acceptance Month is a chance to listen to autistic individuals from marginalized communities and learn how we can all make the world a safer place for us.

– Kala Allen

Kala on The Mighty
Kala on The Mighty
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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Autism acceptance, to me, is to break down the society 'norms' we have created, both in the community and within ourselves. The world wasn't built for people on the spectrum and it is time to have society meet us halfway in adapting. This Autism Acceptance month, I want people to know that being autistic is something to be proud of. Being autistic is my superpower and I want everyone else to feel that way about their autism.

– Nera Birch

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Nera on The Mighty
Nera on The Mighty
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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I want people to know that being autistic doesn’t make me any less of a student, employee, spouse, friend, community member, family member or parent. Being autistic helps me shine in all that I am and do in life. To me, autism acceptance means I’m able to be authentically myself and the focus is on getting to know me as a whole person rather than trying to cure, fix, change or hide my autism or any other parts of who I am.

– Kris McElroy

Kris on The Mighty
Kris on The Mighty
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Autism acceptance means not letting someone's diagnosis get in the way of their capabilities. Autism is not a barrier to anyone’s lives. It’s only a stamp to who they are as a person. Often, autistic individuals have dreams and aspirations to what they want in life, and no one should ever doubt or hold them back from achieving them. Regardless of whether autistic individuals want to be a doctor, teacher, engineer or journalist, those who want to become those occupations should be given a chance and to showcase their skill set to their employers.

Furthermore, any autistic individual can attend public schools and college, and set out to receive the best education and training that will help them succeed in life.

– Zach Smith

Zach on The Mighty
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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

– Amelia Blackwater

This is my first year celebrating Autism Acceptance Month since I’ve been diagnosed autistic and I’ve never felt so understood and accepted then within the autistic community. Instead of searching for a cure, autism acceptance is listening to autistic voices, watching us happy stim, engaging with us on our special interests and understanding what triggers our meltdowns. That’s what true autism acceptance looks like to me.

Amelia on The Mighty
Amelia on The Mighty
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
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Autism acceptance to me is trying to embrace and understand who autistic people and their loved ones actually are. When I was diagnosed at 4, it was all about 'autism awareness.' Don't get me wrong. That's the first step to these conversations. Decades later, I'm a public speaker who wants autism acceptance to be the new norm.

– Dr. Kerry Magro Ed.D

Dr. Magro on The Mighty
Dr. Magro on The Mighty
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I would like folks to know about families like mine. I am a mommy to my three girls, two are both autistic and have ADHD. I have undiagnosed autism and diagnosed ADHD, which were not truly recognized until after my second daughter’s diagnoses. Some of us are really struggling with 'passing.'

My trouble with 'passing' for a neurotypical woman/mom is that my and my family’s needs are not accepted or validated. The pain from this invisibility is just the tip of the iceberg. In my family, autism is the bridge connecting parent to child, and child to child. We are an autistic family through and through. We live, love and hurt HARD. But we are also a gaggle of nerds who enjoy connecting with others.

– Mama Tine

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Mama on The Mighty
Mama on The Mighty
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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For Autism Acceptance Month, I want people to know that we are part of the world. We come from many backgrounds and stories, but we all learn and see the world differently than neurotypicals. Autism acceptance for me means to accept autistics for who they are. No more no less.

– Robert Schmus

Robert on The Mighty
Robert on The Mighty
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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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