Saturday, March 21, 2015

Light it up blue?

I have some thoughts I need to get out. I want to make the world a better place for other autistic people. In order to do so, I can't be silent. I must let my voice be heard.

As many of you know, all the rage around April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day is this "light it up blue" campaign. People are either posting things related to this on Facebook, choosing to wear blue that day, or shining a blue light outside their house. In theory, it's meant to be a way to raise autism awareness, and sounds like a good thing.

Now, for those of you who don't know, here's the other side of the coin. This whole campaign was started by an organization many of you have probably heard of: Autism $peaks. There's a problem with this. To the innocent bystander, the organization may sound like this wonderful thing that "helps" autistics. However, in actuality, they use scare tactics and are support eugenics. Saying that autistics are a "burden" or a "tragedy." That autism needs to be "eliminated." It does nothing in the way of supporting neurodiversity, and this needs to change. People need to be respected for who they are, and appreciated!

I'm not saying that autism is easy to live with. It's difficult when you can't read between the lines and are easily taken advantage of because of it. It can be an issue when executive functioning deficits cause you to forget to do important tasks. Misinterpreting things may make life a challenge. For those who have sensory sensitivities, the world can be overwhelming. However, I still can't fathom the thought of ridding the world of it.

The world needs autistics. It needs people all over the neurological spectrum. Without our differences, we wouldn't have many of the great innovations we have in this world. We need varying perspectives. That's why for this year's Autism Awareness month, or should I rephrase that to Autism Acceptance month, I'd like to highlight the positive things autism has brought us. I want to show people that there are positives, and in turn, hopefully make the world a more welcoming place for autistics.

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