Awareness Versus Acceptance

April is a month in which autism has the stage and the world is listening— perhaps a little more than the other 11 months of the year.

Autism Awareness Month.

Autism Acceptance Month.

Awareness versus acceptance.

Which one is it?

Maybe it’s both?

I think it’s both.

You cannot have acceptance without awareness. Awareness leads to understanding. Understanding leads to acceptance. And in the most perfect world, acceptance leads to inclusion.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Truth is, it isn’t that simple.

1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism, but we’re still so far from awareness, acceptance, and inclusion.

I think that comes from misunderstanding or lack of understanding what autism is. Autism is a spectrum and no one person with it presents the same. That can make it had to truly understand.

It’s hard to understand what life with autism is like if you aren’t living it or if it hasn’t touched your life personally.

For me, autism awareness and acceptance is as simple as understanding that autism is a part of our family story through our boys.

It is as much a part of my boys as the color of their eyes. It doesn’t define them. They are who they are and I love every fiber of them. They are not less. They are good and perfect gifts from above.

I’ve learned so much about autism because of them and from them. They’ve truly become two of my greatest teachers.

I’ve learned to advocate for them and for others who are like them.

That’s why I’m here. That’s a lot of why I write— to increase awareness and understanding and hopefully, through that, acceptance and ultimately inclusion.

Awareness leads to understanding which leads to acceptance which leads to inclusion.

I’ll never stop pushing for that.

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