Every year when April – otherwise known as Autism Awareness Month – rolls around, I ask myself, “Awareness? Awareness of what exactly?” Most times I forget my own advice and try to find a “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question. (My advice: there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all for anything.) Some times I just bail on the question altogether.
This year I decided to try something different. Instead of trying to go “big picture” awareness, I’m going to focus on one aspect – a theme, if you will – of autism awareness. A consistent theme throughout all the various incarnations of this blog, not to mention my life as the parent of an autistic son, has always been that autistic people are just people like everyone else, with the same unique needs and desires as anyone else. It seems fitting that I use that as my theme.
Everyone is different, of course. The challenge with autism is that autistic kids and adults are different in a different way, a way that many people are not familiar with and – more importantly – not comfortable with.
So, for the next month I am going to revisit and repost some old articles and write a few new ones to build on this theme. I will also be looking around the web for others talking about the same theme. If I can make just one person more aware that autistic people are just people like everyone else, I will consider my efforts a success.
Of course, I’m expecting to reach more people than that.