Updated: May 9, 2021
In case you didn't know, this month is Autism Awareness Month! Its purpose is to celebrate and promote acceptance for people part of the autism community.
According to a chapter in Autism Acceptance, autism, or autism spectrum disorder refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non verbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. There’s many types of autism, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. To have a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder, you can check out organizations that are all about autism such as Autism Speaks and Autism Society.
It has been suggested that children with autism spectrum disorders are especially vulnerable to bullying. The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) published a survey in 2014 on bullying and children with ASD, showing findings that children with ASD are bullied at a rather high rate and are also often intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by ill-intentioned peers. For example, parents of autistic children who participated in the survey had been asked if their children had ever been bullied. A total of 63% of 1,167 children with ASD, ages 6-15, had been bullied at some point in their lives. Meanwhile, their unaffected siblings were asked about their bullying experiences. Of 795 typically-developed siblings, also age 6 through 15, 12% had been bullied in the past month. Children with ASD were bullied at a rate more than three times higher than their siblings.
You may be wondering, how can I take action? How to observe autism awareness month? Well, there are so many possibilities. Find out and participate in local group activities by local autism organizations. Read autism books to understand it. Donate to Autism Awareness Organizations, to further their efforts and encourage their strong support for the community.
I am not part of the autism community whatsoever, so please do not take what I write into heart as factual. Like you, I’m trying to understand it too. To have a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder, you check out organizations and people that advocate for autism such as Siena Castellon and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
“I am different, not less.” - Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience of autism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Emily and I'm an ordinary person who aspires to do something extraordinary. My hobbies include baking, reading, journaling, writing, and sometimes attempting new things. Most importantly, I believe that every person deserves to live with promise and hope. However there are still a lot of people that have to deal with bullying every single day, thus I want to change that. I want to be part of the solution, part of the change, and as Anne Frank once said, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."