What Can We Do to Promote Autism Acceptance?

May 11, 2015
Tagged with: What Can We Do to Promote Autism Acceptance?

Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is extremely common–the organization Autism Speaks reports that the prevalence of autism in children has risen to 1 in 68. Every person with ASD is different and experiences different circumstances.

As Autism Speaks explains, “Many of those on the autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills. About 40 percent have average to above average intellectual abilities. Indeed, many persons on the spectrum take deserved pride in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways of viewing the world. Others with autism have significant disability and are unable to live independently. About 25 percent of individuals with ASD are nonverbal but can learn to communicate using other means.”

However, most people do not fully understand what it means to have autism, and this often makes everyday life difficult for people with ASD. In particular, finding employment for people with autism as they get older can be quite a challenge, which thus makes living independently harder. There are many people with autism who end up having to rely heavily on shelters and organization such as The Road Home. Such organizations are great, important resources, but increased autism acceptance will help prevent people with autism needing such assistance.

Fortunately, there are simple ways we can promote autism acceptance! For starters, whenever autism comes up in conversation, we should always speak respectfully. Describe a person who has autism as “a person with autism,” which puts this person before his or her autism. Also, remember that each person with autism is a very unique individual, just like how every human being is different from every other human being. People with autism all have very different experiences and abilities, and they are not all the same.

We should also take care to not separate people who do not have autism from people who do have autism. This often happens from a very young age, in school, but it is very important and beneficial for children with autism to have the opportunity to socialize with children who do not have autism. Each child has something to learn from each other child, and children with autism should not be isolated. This will help empower all children, which is an extremely important part of a positive childhood as well as the goal of several children’s advocacy groups, such as the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.

When we don’t have much experience around people with autism, it is understandable that we may initially be a little apprehensive and worried that we may say or do the wrong thing, but relax! People with autism are people, just like you and me, and they deserve and need to be loved and treated the same way we all want to be treated. We should not make any assumptions, just as we should not make any assumptions about any person we come across, and that is what autism acceptance is all about.

Tell us: how are you going to implement autism acceptance into your own life?





Author: Alexa Elheart

  • bobl07

    I believe that all acceptance for people with disabilities starts with knowing person first language and understanding disability culture. Our society needs to make a to commitment to inclusion in regards to physical fitness opportunities, education and employment.

  • Alexa Elheart

    I think that you’ve hit the nail on the head with that statement, Bob. Thanks for sharing.