How To Observe World Autism Awareness Day
1. Get involved;-;If you are part of an organization, you can plan and execute a fundraiser for Light It Up Blue and mail your donations to Autism Speaks.
2. March;-;Live in the D.C. area? Join The Power of One march. It takes place on the evening of April 2; but if you dont live in the area, you may find a similar march in your town.
3. Educate yourself;-;There are a number of online talks and seminars which educate us about living with autism.
What Colour Should Represent Autism
So, with blue leaving many in the autism community feeling, well, blue and the need for awareness and a community identity stronger than ever, ;it comes as no surprise that many can feel lost when looking for a colour to umbrella under.
Over the years, many challengers have arisen seeking to take the crown of the definitive autism colour. However, few have succeeded, leaving the throne still vacant. While I myself have my own preferences, which will become clear soon enough, here is a slightly unbias rundown of the bookies favourites:
Buildings Can Go #blueforautism Too
National and international landmarks bring out their blue lights for autism awareness. In fact, it started in 2008 with the Empire Building lighting up blue. This year was the tenth consecutive year that its lights turned blue. International landmarks like the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul.
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So How Do We Change This
Here, have a fewbullet-points.
- Change the name of it to World Autism Acceptance Month. Because you can be aware of something and still be an unhealthy influence over it. The negative advocates responsible for those DNR orders were very much aware of autism. We need acceptance now.
- If youre running an autism event, have autistic speakers.
- If you share stuff on social media, share from autistic writers.
- Buy things from autistic artists, musicians, craftspeople, authors and so on.
- Change the narrative from tragedy to difference, and talk about our strengths as well as our difficulties.
They Subscribe To A Medical Model Of Autism As Pathological
It’s time for us to become aware of ourselves. Posting on social media about awareness does absolutely nothing to help anyone. History of world autism awareness day. World autism awareness day has people going blue today. In mumbai, forum for autism has taken up the task of spreading awareness at railway stations.
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The Colourful History Of Autism Colour
While the world of autism was a blank canvas for much of the late 20th century, with most of the discussions surrounding autism taking place in laboratories and psychologist catch-ups , changes in understanding in the early 2000s meant that autism awareness became a top priority for the newly formed autistic community and, as such, we needed colours to fly our flag and grab attention.
For better or worse , many gravitated towards the colour blue due to its connotations with calmness and acceptance. However, at that time, blue was also chosen as autism was widely considered a male-only condition an idea which has since been proven wrong and, in many ways, damaging for female representation on the spectrum.
In stark contrast to the Brit boy band of the same name, Blues popularity only rose during the late 2000s. This was due to a myriad of factors but rooted at the centre of them all was the American charity Autism Speaks which was launched in 2005 and featured a blue puzzle piece as their logo. The colour then gained further traction in 2007 when the same charity created the Light it up Blue campaign: a ;World Autism Awareness Day initiative, which saw landmarks, celebs and everything else imaginable bathed in the charitys colours around the world.
Why Is Blue The Color Of Autism Awareness
Blue is NOT the color of autism. It is the color of acontroversial, powerful organization called Autism Speaks with apowerful marketing campaign.
The colors of autism are RED, YELLOW and BLUE. And the symbol isa puzzle piece. It is the only condition with 3 colors.
The pieces reflect the mystery and complexity of autism.
The different colors, RED, YELLOW AND BLUE, and figuresrepresent the diversity of people and families living with thisdisorder.
The brilliance of the ribbon is a sign of hope, hope thatthrough greater awareness of autism, and through early interventionand appropriate intensive treatment, people with autism can livefull and productive lives.
AUTISM IS A MULTICOLOR PUZZLE … EVERY PIECE IS UNIQUE …RESPECT OUR SYMBOL AND COLORS IN APRIL AND ALWAYS.
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Myths About Neurodiversity And Autism Acceptance
Here are some common misunderstandings about the Neurodiversity Movement and Autism Acceptance, important to remember when thinking about and discussing autism acceptance this month:
- The Neurodiversity Movement is only supported by verbal, high functioning autistics. Verbal autistics are not the only individuals on the spectrum advocating for neurodiversity and autism acceptance .
- Supporting Autism acceptance or the Neurodiversity Movement means you are anti-therapy. Accepting autism does not mean that you renounce all therapy. It means you carefully screen therapies to ensure they are rooted in a respect for the autistic individual and that they let the autistic individual have input in determining the desired goals.
- Autism acceptance is a radical concept. Embracing differences, including autistic differences is an important part of loving your childs identity. There is nothing more normal and natural than that.
Which Colour Represents Autism
When done right, some colours become synonymous with the things they are used to represent. Take for example the healthy green hues of the Samaritans logo or the sleek, futuristic black of the Apple apple. Even in the world of literature, its hard not to see a hopeful yellow background with a powerful red centre and think of Superman. Yes, its a fact that, for any given thing, there is a colour to reflect it. But which colour represents autism?
This is a question which I have seen raised multiple times and, with the help of both my marketing degree and own perspective of being autistic, today I aim to find both an answer to what colour represents autism, while simultaneously frustrating every non-U.K. reader by spelling colourthe correct way the British way.
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Autism Awareness Month Has Traditionally Played Apart In The Demonising Of Autistic People
Heres the big one. And ithas devastating consequences.
The moment we realised that the coronavirus may be a threat to our health services ability to function, disability groups started to get nervous. Because the closer we would get to being overwhelmed by COVID-19, the bigger the fear that disabled people would be asked to lay down their lives for everyone else.
Its thankfully not common practice, but on rare occasions its been seen happening: reports are coming in from multiple countries about doctors contacting parents of autistic people, asking them to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders, presumably so that their children wont have to occupy a hospital bed that could otherwise be used by a non-autistic patient.
This month the NHS and their counterparts worldwide are under enormous pressure and are rightly being celebrated, although sadly even before this month they have had to spread the word that learning disabilities are not reasons to issue DNR orders, for fear of the occasional medical professional recommending them for healthy autistic people with learning difficulties, on the basis of their autism rather than their health.
Yes, its utterly horrifying and it casts the rest of the healthcare profession in an unfairly bad light. And it is a direct consequence of several decades worth of negative advocacy.
This isnt the first time Ive used this picture from Autism Times Two. Its rare I see a sentence that encapsulates an issue to such pitch-perfection.
Why Should You Wear #blueforautism
Many organizations and individuals around the world have been celebrating World Autism Awareness Month for almost a decade now. After the United Nations declared April 2nd as a World Autism Awareness Day, the community stepped up and Light It Up Blue was born. Since that day, blue campaigns became the symbols of starting a global conversation on how to understand and help people with autism. Here are 10 reasons why you should wear #BlueForAutism for World Autism Awareness Month:
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Autism Awareness Month Has Traditionally Been Fullof Slacktivism
A while ago I wrote an article called How to raise ACTUAL autism awareness, and I often give talks about this exact subject. One of the points it makes is about how raising awareness can now be as easy as changing your profile picture, whilst not making any kind of practical changes.
I mean, why donate actualmoney to an autism-friendly charity when you can put I love someone withautism on your Facebook picture completely for free?
Then of course, theresthis kind of crap right here.
Rather curiously, I get the same word-for-word message for Cancer Awareness Month too. Leaving aside that it doesnt specify which cancer it seeks to raise awareness of , does anyone else think its utterly abhorrent to have all my bras are missing as part of a cancer awareness game?
Thankfully, due to the deluge of copy-paste messages weve all been doing during the coronavirus lockdown, this is the first year in a while that Ive not had this game sent to me.
The basic concept is thatyou post one of these sentences as your status, wait for someone to take youliterally , and thensend them this copy-pasted message asking for them to join in, to raiseawareness of the condition that made them gullible enough to fall for it. Orsomething like that.
Again, theres noexplanation for what awareness this is raising, or how it aims to change thelives of autistic people .
Why I Dont Light Up Blue
Light it up Blue is a campaign for autism awareness started by Autism Speaks, which most autistic adults consider a hate group. For those confused as to why autistics generally dont like Autism Speaks, think of it like this:
Imagine there was a group called Homosexuality Speaks run almost entirely by straight people who put all but 4% of their donations towards advertising for themselves and funding research on how to identify the gay gene in utero so that parents could abort gay children and fight the gay epidemic, as well as finding a cure for homosexuality. As they do this, imagine that these straight people gain popularity as the voice of the gay community, all while they actively do their best to silence gays from being allowed to speak up on their own behalf. Pretty sure the LGBT community would not support them. So thats why most autistics dont like Autism Speaks they do not speak for autistics.
Anyway, since it is now Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to discuss the specific color blue, the concept of awareness, and how it relates to autism.
Which is a real shame, because I look good in blue its one of my favorite colors and I loathe that it was ruined in the month of April by this campaign.
Now, you might say, Well, thats what it used to represent. It doesnt anymore, now its all autistics! Its just a support thing for awareness!
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Choose Your Own Symbol
There are lots of symbols and colors associated with autism spectrum disorders, but they may not all represent you or how you feel about autism. Once you learn how to recognize and interpret them all, use the ones that resonate with you personally or create your own symbol to show how you feel about ASD.
Firstly A Recap On What Autism Is
Autism is a lifelong condition, which becomes noticeable in early childhood, affecting the brains growth and development. Every person with ASD is different to another and has their own way of seeing the world, which makes them interesting and unique. Some of the challenges people with ASD may experience includes:
- Challenges with communication and interacting with others
- Repetitive and different behaviours, moving their bodies in different ways
- Very strong interests in one topic or subject
- Unusual reactions to what they see, hear, smell, touch or taste
- Preference for routines and dislike change
Many people with ASD have wonderful strengths and offer unique ways of seeing the world which is hugely beneficial to our society. However, many individuals are also adversely affected and may experience social isolation, bullying, other mental health conditions , unemployment, and increased risk for homelessness.
Community support and funding is essential to increase awareness and provide individuals with ASD access to important services. Which is why Autism Queensland campaigns heavily for us to Go Blue for Autism.
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Light It Up Blue For Autism Awareness
World Autism Awareness Day , observed on April 2, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health priority. The Light It Up Blue initiative is intended to raise international awareness of autism in support of both WAAD and Autism Awareness Month in the United States. Every year on WAAD, thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights in honor of the millions of individuals and families affected by autism. Individuals everywhere wear blue in honor of our community.;LIUB spreads awareness and understanding of autism, celebrates and honors the unique talents and skills of people with autism, and brings attention to the needs of all people with autism.
Fort Carson will participate in LIUB by turning the lights at the Main Gate and Nelson Blvd Roundabout to blue on 2 April 2018.;
Autism Acceptance Day: Why Acceptance Instead Of Awareness
You may have heard today, April 2nd, called Autism Awareness Day. However, the autistic self-advocacy community reportedly isnt too keen on the title.;
The publicity around autism skyrocketed through the 1990s & 2000s, as diagnoses grew from one in 500 children in 1991 to one in sixty-eight in 2014. Per the Autism Society, the number in 2020 is now one in fifty-four or nearly two percent of kids. However, the leap in diagnoses and awareness left, as ASAN puts it, a long way to go in understanding, acceptance, and basic decency for autistic people.;
For the tenth year in a row, the Autism Self-Advocacy Network has held Autism Acceptance Day instead. Lets dive into why the name difference is significant.;
NOTE: As many people in the autism community, including ASAN, have stated they prefer identity-first language, we will be honoring their wishes in this article. However, we acknowledge the preference between identity & person-first language is a personal choice that should be respected.;
Origins of Autism Awareness Day
Autism Acceptance Day, like Autism Acceptance Month, was created by & for the autistic community in response to Autism Awareness Month. Started by the Autism Society in 1970, whose stated goal per their website was to ensure all affected by autism are able to achieve the highest quality of life possible, Autism Awareness Day was instituted in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly as a worldwide holiday.;;
Not about us without us
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Do All Autistics Agree
Of course not. Autistics cant be grouped into one category, with one opinion, just like any other group of people. However, be careful about using this as an excuse to dismiss the Light It Up Red campaign. When trying to serve any group of people, do your due diligence to research exactly what they want and need and dont assume you have all the answers. Where should your research come from? From the community you are serving. Dont let any one organization be your North Star.
Not everyone will agree. But take a look at who is lighting it up blue and who is lighting it up red around you or in your online spaces. What are #ActuallyAutistic people doing? Yes, there are some autistic people who Light It Up Blue. But many dont. Colors are merely symbolicwhat they stand for is powerful. Autism Speaks now has promotional material that reads, I Light It Up Blue for Greater Understanding and Acceptance . The Light It Up Red campaign originated with the same message of acceptance, which, at the time, was not the mainstream message. Light It Up Red has given national attention to autism acceptance and prioritizing autistic voices. So how can we help support this message?
Why Autism Awareness Month Can Be Traumatising For Autistic People
It doesnt seem quiteright, does it? That a month designated for raising public knowledge of autismwould be so widely disliked by the autistic people it claims to support.
But just to clarify: thephrase widely disliked doesnt do justice to the feelings of some of thosenegatively impacted by Autism Awareness Month.
The autistic people Imreferring to dont dislike it. They dont even hate it.
They fear it.
For every autistic person like me who spends April in full advocacy mode, theres another autistic person who spends April doing their best to stay offline. Im in a fairly privileged position when it comes to Autism Awareness Month, having both the mental energy to talk about the issue, and the platform for my words to be heard . Meanwhile, other autistic people feel unable to express themselves without judgement, or are actively silenced by others.
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This Is Important To Me Because Of My Son Walker
Walker is five and hes had an ASD diagnosis since just before he was three. But hes been autistic since he was a flickering heartbeat on a grainy eight-week ultrasoundthe moment I fell in love with him.
When he was diagnosed, the developmental pediatrician that guided us through that process warned us about Autism Speaks. He said that their focus on a cure makes autism seem like a terrifying disease instead of a neurological difference. He suggested other places where we could seek out information about autism, and encouraged us to think about our child as different so we could accommodate him differently, but never, ever to think of him as damaged, broken or in need of fixing.
I am so grateful for that. Because of him, I chose instead to seek out autistic adults and listen to their advice. Our son has been free to be himself. We have chosen to limit his therapies to things that support interests he already has, like speech. We have understood from minute one that appearing neurotypical is not a goal he has, so its not a goal we will set for him.
My oldest son explains it to people like this: Our family is mostly made of computers, but Walker is an iPad. We are all really smart, and we can still communicate with each other even though we do different stuff. We are way different, but also way the same.