This April has been my first experience of Autism Acceptance Month since my diagnosis last year. In the build-up I wasn’t sure what to expect and whether I would notice any real change so I wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to share my reflections on this last month.
The first observation I had was that outside of the autism community there wasn’t a lot of knowledge about Autism Acceptance Month. I would mention it conversation to find that most were not aware of it. If we are truly to have acceptance then the wider public need to know that this month exists or the same attitudes will continue.
Another thing I noticed was when the autism community were continuing the amazing advocacy that they do all year round there was some very negative reactions to this on social media platforms. I had negative comments written about me when I was trying to help. This month is about acceptance but reactions like that highlight just how far away we truly are from achieving this.
At a time when we have had autism acceptance day, week and month there are still too many people that should have an understanding of autism that don’t. This includes services that work with autistic adults. It can be extremely exhausting to be trying to ask for acceptance when it feels like the majority of people don’t want to know.
Throughout this month other people with lived experience of autism have been sharing their stories on my blog. I am so proud and grateful to everyone who shared their experiences and I love the wide variety topics that have been covered! Thank you so much to Autiblog, Mulier Fortis, Nikki, Vicky, Casey and My Autistic Art!
A final thing I noticed is Autism Acceptance for just one month every year just isn’t enough. Acceptance is something that we need all year round and this is what all the amazing autism community are advocating for 365 days a year! I am so grateful to be a part of this community that is so accepting of each other. In the future I hope the rest of the world is as accepting of this amazing community!