Autism Awareness is Important
When I take my son out into the community he wears his headphones and people always attempt to speak with him.
In those moments, I have a choice to make . . . to just go with it or to tell them that my son is autistic and non-speaking.
I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is draining to explain to people over and over that my son is amazing and autistic.
Sometimes I’m tempted to just go the easy route. Sometimes when he doesn’t respond and they say, “he must have his headphones too loud and can’t hear me,” I want to nod in agreement.
But, nodding in agreement is not going to change the world for my son or create autism awareness.
When I tell people that my son is autistic I can gauge their level of autism awareness.
Some continue talking to him as if it doesn’t matter, some become awkward and act embarrassed, and others can’t get away from us fast enough.
Conversations need to happen so that we can open hearts and minds to autism. It is a person to be loved, not a diagnosis to be feared.
We live in a world with a foundation and systems that were built upon the ideology of sameness, that people are similar, hit the same milestones, and see the world through the same lens.
Autistic individuals like my son, see the world through a different lens.
To me, autism awareness means sharing our stories and experiences to educate and inform others about autism.
By doing so, people develop a better understanding of autism.
Autism awareness and acceptance means someone sees my son flapping his hands and stimming and they recognize that he is autistic.
Instead of thinking that his stimming is weird they think he has a great smile or nice eyes. When people are autism aware, my son’s autism is visible but not the focus of his presence. These people see beyond his autism.
Each and every time I have the opportunity to share and educate someone about autism, I take it!
I am committed to trying to make the world better for my son, so he has a brighter future filled with understanding and kindness from others.
No one ever changed the world by remaining silent or nodding in agreement.
Written by Chrystal Venator of Stalen’s Way