New Zealand Autism Awareness Acceptance Month

On this page, you can find information, support for Autism acceptance in New zealand.

Here in New Zealand and other parts of the world autism awareness and acceptance month is celebrated in the month of April. It has been known now that many autistics in the community would like to have the day changed to Autism Acceptance Month.

Autistics of Aotearoa!

We are uniting to share autistic experiences throughout the month of April.

What does it mean to be authentically autistic?

This year Altogether Autism focused on authentic autism throughout April, World Autism Acceptance Month.

Autistics of Aotearoa is an autistic-led series where New Zealand autistics share what it means to be “authentically autistic” and offer advice on how we can show acceptance in meaningful ways.

17 May 2021– During Autism Awareness month we asked you to send an image or a short story showing how you promoted Autism Acceptance in April. Their autistic advisors selected their favourite in three categories: autistics, family/whānau, and professionals.

The team Altogether Autism want to say thanks to their magnificent sponsors – The Warehouse Group, Sensory Sam and of course Altogether Autism team.

30 April 2021 – Check out Harper Veli, 14, of Auckland being ‘Authentically Autistic”. Harper featured in the Life Unlimited book ‘Life in a Pandemic‘. Ten months on he’s now more independent and dreaming of returning to visit his family in Australia.

28 April 2021 – Here is the latest Autistics of Aotearoa contribution, shared by mum Linda Seto with Abbey’s permission.

“My daughter Abbey is 100% authentically autistic when she displays certain behaviours and characteristics that help her to cope or process the world around her. One of Abbey’s coping mechanisms is carrying a soft toy with her wherever she goes. The familiar texture and scent of the soft toy help calm and soothe her whenever she feels overwhelmed and provides her with stability and comfort.

“Some ways we can show acceptance of autistic people are: “showing up” for the autistic person in our life whether that’s an autistic work colleague, friend or family member and welcoming autistics into our communities and friendship circle; not forcing autistic people to hide their autism or mask it to fit in and continually learning and trying to come to a place of understanding by accepting autistics for who they are.

Their good friend Tūraukawa Bartlett describes autism as a gift. His grandmother raised him saying: “If you are Māori be proud to be Māori” and describes how because he was different, she was his favourite.

To end this:
Neurodiversity advocate Kahukura, Hawkes Bay Ngai Tahu, Te Ātiawa. Kahukura says that I believe that now is the time to recognize autism not just as a diagnosis but as a part of our being as well as a valid identity rather than a puzzle with missing pieces, tells us about what it means to be authentically autistic.

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