Its autism month! I think about how much I’ve grown throughout my life as an autistic. Also, we all know autism is lifelong. It’s important to keep in mind the 3 powerful A’s that are impactful within the autism and neurodiverse community:
Awareness: My parents knew I was not meeting developmental milestones compared to my older sister Samantha during the first year of my life. Before and after I received my autism diagnosis in the year of 2000, my parents reached out to people and conducted in-depth research about autism to better understand my individual needs for the long run.
Acceptance: My family always love me for who I am, including my stubbornness. Ever since I watched Dr. Temple Grandin’s documentary with my family and family friend at their house one day during 6th grade, I learned autism is only a part of who I am and helped me learn more about myself, such as being so dedicated and passionate in my special interests with helping the neurodiverse population.
Advocacy: My parents always advocated for me as early as when I received my autism diagnosis. They were able to get me early intervention services following my autism diagnosis and fought for extended school year (ESY) services throughout my school years in the Marlboro public school district in NJ. Everything my parents did are all I do now as I’ve been working with the neurodiverse community in homes and schools.
I encourage schools, homes, workplaces, etc, to use these 3 A’s on a daily basis. It takes these components to impact lives of autistic and neurodiverse people.
What is one new way you will help autistic and neurodiverse people this month and beyond? Share your experiences in the comments section!