Next Sunday marks World Autism Awareness Day and April is it's awareness month. Most people who know me know that I have a younger brother with nonverbal autism. And if you know anything about me, he's my rock.
Over the past couple years, as I have become more involved, I've heard about controversy on the concept of having a month dedicated to autism awareness. If this is something one sees negatively, I feel that the point has been missed completely. Rather than it being seen as an attempt to point out weaknesses or imply that individuals with ASD need to be "fixed" or that you or they don't need pity ...I feel is a shame. For me, it has always been a time of rejoice with the special needs community, recognition, celebration of individuality. As I feel like I have become an advocate almost automatically, I feel like it is my duty to create awareness and educate others about my experience with it the best I can. Some people, on the spectrum or not, often go through life misunderstood. Some people have the power to change that, others don't. It taught me how to give a voice and how to have a voice. It taught me that it's okay to wear my heart on my sleeve and be strong at the same time.
So if you see people wearing blue on April 2nd or wearing something with a puzzle piece on it, it is most likely for autism awareness day and month.
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