WORLD AUTISM DAY 2020: HOW TO GET INVOLVED?

Hi all, I want to say before I begin this topic that has been shared about based on World Autism Day 2020 that some of this will be based on my own opinions, thoughts and experiences along with having some conversations with others in the autistic community. I believe that despite this time of year the term autism awareness and autism acceptance has been debated and thrown about to others that are autistic of it making a hot debate and or topic for us to discuss when it is the month of World Autism Month, week or day. I know that with that being said that there’ll be a difference of opinions and so on, but I would like to ask you all to be kind to me as I share these thoughts and opinions with you all today.
I am also willing to learn and to be open to listening to your thoughts and opinions about this topic and more by feeling free to share them in the comments below and in saying this commenting below, be kind to one another. As again I said that everyone will have different opinions.

I know that I am as of late in sharing some of the stuff based on Autism related topics for World Autism Month but I am hoping to bring out to you some and that I am all about raising awareness and acceptance of autism and mental health as well as advocating and educating you all. But, here I am hoping, today to basically share with you all about some of the ones I want to share.

As you have heard my story also about my diagnosis with autism and my other personal struggles with this and more on my channel and other media and if you’ve not seen the diagnosis story that feels free to click here to watch my Diagnosis Story and find out more about me more as an autistic or just my everyday autistic diagnosis.

Don’t you just love it when people make an assumption about you when you’re ready to tell them that you’re either autistic or have some other form of mental illness?

World Autism Awareness week or as some people would call it World Autism Acceptance week as again there’s going to be a divide to how or what people would like to call this event based on their experience, understanding and preference. I made a video about this last year.
(Reference: AUTISM AWARENESS AND AUTISM ACCEPTANCE/REPLACING AUTISM AWARENESS WITH AUTISM ACCEPTANCE)

As we know that it’s nowhere as usually, it is on April 2nd on most years that have been coming
for this autism acceptance month especially and although this year of 2020 has bought us a surprise that due to some unforeseen obstacles or circumstances we still do need to work a lot more on awareness as well as acceptance yet I believe that at the moment that people are aware of this condition of Autism as it is starting to be known yet some may have some misunderstandings about what autism is still and that some people are still ignorant or arrogant due to you know the lack of knowing what it is along with that promoting acceptance as part of this package as well.

(Reference: Autism Awareness & Acceptance [April 2019]/ Autism Acceptance-Wear Red Instead)

For many of us that are trying to raise awareness and acceptance of Autism, many of us in the autistic community especially is like herding cats and I must say sometimes these cats I say that they tend to be really angry and a bit aggressive as I’ve noticed in some of the autistic community groups I’ve been in. Some of them have been aggressive and some have been pointing the finger at me or not just pointing the finger at me but bashing about you know that this should be said this way or that way and so on and so forth. But, I’m not going into the jiff of what was going down. I believe that in myself that there is or should be some unity and coming together is a really important factor in the community so that we can then learn and advocate and or educate others about autism more than ever before. When you have people that have the common traits of autism such as being detail orientated, who like to do their own thing, maybe obsessed with the one thing and so on and so forth for some of the common traits of autistics or people with autism. These are just name a few just as I said before of these common traits.

(Reference: Characteristic Traits In A Female with Aspergers Syndrome)

ReferenceObsessions and Interests in Autistic Children)

It may come as a surprise sometimes that being autistic can be an everyday struggle and is difficult for us to come together as just one community as an autistic community and to also be the just the one voice but this needs to be necessary to make social progress in today’s world.

So, the question is what is the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance. Well, I have shared again this topic also last year which you can find here

(Reference: Introduction to World Autism Awareness Acceptance Month/Life as an Aspie [April 2019])

But, I shall be short and brief in this part to what it is now to give you all a recap.
Autism awareness is all about people who are autistic that are raising awareness and that again as I said earlier many people are aware of autism.

This event of autism awareness started earlier than autism acceptance as autism awareness Insert image of a family became an idea by autistic adults and children way back in the year the 1970s to really let people know about the existence of autism is there and did exist then as it does now yet it wasn’t quite common back then as it is now based on the lacking research and information in the 70s

Students and family members from Johnson Primary School march, holding signs and banners in support of autism awareness aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Friday. According to the centre for disease control and prevention, one in every 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disorder. (Photo by: Lance Cpl. Andrea Ovalle)

Yet, this time period was a time where they can raise awareness based on talking about the signs and symptoms, people’s experiences of what life is like for them as an autistic mainly from a parent’s view and perspective on this to also to some people with little or knowledge of Autism to bring greater awareness and understanding of autism to the general public. Most of the autistics in the autistic community do see this as a negative idea or conception.

Last year, I shared about the Light It Up Blue campaign that is organised by the organization Autism Speaks and has been adopted out by other organizations in the last few years worldwide and my thoughts and opinions as well as some research on it

(Reference: AAAW Why I WILL NOT Support LIGHT IT UP BLUE/My Personal Opinion[2019] ) as I don’t wish to go too much into detail in it to cause any more debate.

I did share why some autistics don’t light it up blue as well as my own personal opinion along with research. Let’s just say here quick smart thought before I begin onto it, Some of these organisations that we may hear about aren’t properly run by actually autistic people. I believe strongly that with some of these stunts that are being done, however, it’s minimal due to a lot of planning and resources along with a lot of money and it’s a waste of money. Light it up blue campaign was a campaign raised at the time for the majority of young boys that were diagnosed with autism and it wasn’t known that it was known for many years that are supposedly a diagnosis for men and boys alike, and it wasn’t known to be for females that could also have autism due to us females usually masks) or having other diagnoses on top of that first of autism- be it like schizophrenia or bipolar and the like before the specialists do diagnose us with Autism.

(Reference: Autistic Females and Masking [2018]).

With autism awareness that this term is flawed, I believe in many ways and one of the ways is that this is known for medical experts wanting us to be cured.

I have also shared this in one of my videos (Reference: Should there be a Cure for AUTISM? ) and that being different is a bad thing for many centuries. People that put a negative spin on people that are different don’t seem right at all.

I’m not the only one now that doesn’t accept this as many other autistic people who I have been talking to are trying to push back the narrative of this as well now. As this is now being disorganized, and documented or even doctrines yet nowadays. Many autistics are now bringing in the hashtag #redinstead. I’m hoping to take part in this movement again this year even if it’s on the second.

(Reference: Autism Awareness & Acceptance [April 2019]/ Autism Acceptance-Wear Red Instead)

 

 

While Autism Acceptance Day has claimed to be on April 2nd yet on the other hand autism acceptance of the #redinstead is on April 1st.

On the other hand that is where autism acceptance began. This stance began in the 1990s. This has grown ever since. This started almost the same way as autism awareness did but the only difference here how it started was this was started by autistic people as this was due to when the autism awareness movement began as an opposition to autism awareness is all about what I shared earlier light it up blue and as for autism acceptance is all about hashtag movement of #redinstead. These terms will be seen more when it comes down to when we have this month’s World Autism Day. This day of autism acceptance also is a way of taking action.

As many of us will be taking action on behalf of the autistic community or on behalf of ourselves as autistic. Autism acceptance is all about showcasing the skills and talents that we have as autistics. As we know that there are many autistics with many different skills and talents out there and it’s all about being able to be brave enough to show it to the world around us.

However, as we know acceptance at the end of the day will open a wider door to opportunities, fortunes and so much more. And, this opens it up all the way to gain a better understanding of autism and autistic people as a whole.

As we know that historically April 1st is known to be a day where people do pranks on others and just make fun of people in general. As we should know that there are many autistic people out there that are literal thinkers as this again is one of their common traits can be known and are easy targets for the malicious and callous behaviours of others that aren’t accepting of others that are different. Many of us do hate April Fools Day anyways which is why we autistics have chosen to reclaim that day however for autism awareness vs. autism acceptance. We know that these days it may not serve any purpose or reason for April Fools Day but for just any businesses or people that waste their time, money and energy to do pranks. So, on the other hand, we autistics have claimed this day as a day of kindness.

 

 

As we know that you may be asking how you can help this year to raise acceptance this year.
Yes, I am aware that you are also thinking and saying to me that hang on a minute Aspie, you do realise that we are in lock-down? Yes, I do. I hear you! But, what you can do while in lock-down for this day I have given you just a few suggestions to give to you during this time of acceptance as acceptance to me also involves the inclusion of autistics as well as giving compliments to others, writing notes to each other, write a letter to an autistic led organisation, maybe feel free, if you feel you want to, to guest blog on some autistic related blogs or what have you, make a gift for someone or write a song and so much more. These ideas I am sharing with you are all about the act of kindness and using the hashtag term #redinstead.

Amplify this by other social media that are doing this movement. Showing this to others about the kindness of the #redinstead will then, therefore, bring out more acceptance of others that are on the autism spectrum.

The date for World Autism Day has been purposefully documented and dated for anyone that doesn’t support light it up blue or red instead as well as we also have the option of light it up gold.

Also, on this day of World Autism Awareness Day, I feel it should be changed to World Acceptance Day on April 2nd as I believe that there’s a lot of awareness already yet we got a long way to go in accepting others that are different as I feel it should be World Autism Acceptance Day due to there are still lacking acceptance of autistic people and that for us autistics we shouldn’t feel like we’re discriminated against, needing to change our thoughts, looks and more just to fit in the neurotypical world.

I believe since there’s a lacking of autistic voices to be heard and this day should be claimed by the autistics as a coming out day similarly in borrowing the LGBT movement and in this movement we should use the hashtag #autisticgold or #goinggoldforautism.

A crowd waves rainbow flags during the Heritage Pride March in New York on Sunday.

I understand that many autistics do not dare wish to come out claiming that they’re autistic by being feared of being judged, fear of rejection and many other reasons behind this. I fully understand and feel this wholeheartedly as I was one of them once upon a time. Autism for some people that are diagnosed with this that they still feel deeply ashamed and most of the reactions we get from parents, friends, family and others are really harsh and negative when many autistics are trying to approach the subjects of this matter. So, the only way to see that is to let society see the numbers and mass of people coming out as Autistics and let others know that we’re not ashamed of who and what we are. Please for anyone of you who are watching this as I am encouraging you to come out as an autistic and that you still feel you’re not ready to do so, don’t have to do this yet, just do it in your time and when you feel that you’re strong and ready to proclaim and accept that you’re autistic. I’m not saying that everyone on this day of Autism Acceptance should come out far from it as this is for the people that are already ready to take the stand in accepting themselves along with having supporting networks from friends, family and organisations and so on. So, that everyone else can see as we lead by example that we’re being led by an autistic community or society. With that being said that this then should be normalized and accepted by society and also people in the community as well as a voice for the community and society alone.

As we are aware that we are limited to the hashtags activism groups but I believe if we can be proud and accepting of ourselves being autistic, we have the power to do more for autism acceptance. Think for example the LGBT movement in how they work. This movement is now being more common and accepted in some parts of the world and in society. For this change to take effect, as we know it will not happen immediately over time. So, it will take time and patience and if we are brave enough to do so we can do more. In the time of Autism Awareness Day that was brought to our understanding how it all began with autistic adults and again in the neurotypical adults that we should all come together as one to co-exist somehow for us to accept the other side and validate our own experiences. I believe that if we did come together that we can work together by educating the public about autism. The fact and reality are that autism isn’t an illness or a need to be cured.

(Reference: AAWM 2018/Do I want a cure for Autism [Shortened Version [2018])

Autism to many people will see in a lot of ways. Some may say it’s a blessing, curse, tragedy, superpower and so much more. It’s who and what we are under that label we are still humans with talents, gifts, feeling and emotions like all of you neurotypical people out there. It’s not going away as this condition is going to be a part of us for the rest of our lives.

We know that life is too short and should never take life for granted and that we should all now honour and respect ourselves for once.

 

 

So, just to wrap this video up as a recap to end this that

  • April 1st is that we reclaim the light it up the blue narrative and go red instead.
  • April 2nd is the autistic coming out day using the hashtag #autisticgold or going gold for autism. Going for Gold for Autism Awareness Acceptance Month.
  • Differences between autism awareness and autism acceptance. These two terms do interlink and work together in one way or another.

I believe it’s all again about accepting each other’s differences as people rather than someone who has something like a mental illness or autism as this should help the conversation to go further.

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