So tell me, what does autism looks like, if you know then you should have no problem looking at the picture above and picking out the person living with autism.
However, if you are like the rest of society and you don’t possess super autism detecting powers you should understand that this is one of many issues parents with children on the spectrum have to deal with on a daily basis.
The fact is that autism for the best part is invisible to the wider community; many afflicted with Autism look so-called “normal”…just like you and me. The issue from my perspective is the lack of education in our society. If we can’t physically see a person’s disability we just presume there is none.
In the autism community, there is a debate of which word should be used when educating people about autism. Should it be awareness, acceptance, or inclusion, for me it’s a three-step successive process?
I want 4yr olds to become aware of autism, I want these children to be mindful that not everyone thinks or acts in the same way as they do, and that people have many differences, so be thoughtful of these and always be kind.
Educating a child from an early age will provide a greater opportunity for acceptance and understanding as she or he grows. They will understand that autism is not always visible and accept that people with autism have difficulties with social interaction. This does not make them antisocial or weird just different.
My hope would be that through this education, by the time a child becomes a teenager or young adult they are fully aware of people with autism, and accept and understand the differences and difficulties that these people and their families live with each and every day. As a result of this journey, of education on awareness, and acceptance, the wider community will evolve to ensure social inclusion for everyone.
This is my hope, that the next time you see a child, kid, teen, or adult having a difficult time in a crowded place, either socially or in a working environment, don’t be so fast to judge. Remember be more understanding and accepting of the things you may not be able to see.
You first must be made aware of something, only then can you understand and have accepted, which will lead to social inclusion.