world autism day

3

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Blue lights will be everywhere to raise awareness of the condition that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affects 1 in 68 kids. “Sesame Street” is debuting Julia, a Muppet who has autism, April 10.

While the increased awareness is great, we’d also like to think of it as a time for greater acceptance and understanding of those with autism. So in honor of kids (and adults) with this neurological disorder that can affect social skills, speech and language and motor skills, we asked five of our contributors to tell us what makes their child with autism awesome.

Read more here: What our children with autism have taught us: Love with abandon, and laugh at yourself 

Concept: stop calling autistics “whiny” because they literally want to scream and claw their skin off when they wear wool, or because eating certain foods make them want to or actually throw up, or because the smell of gasoline makes them gag, or because colorful lights give us panic attacks.

Certain sensory stimuli are literal hell, when I say I cannot eat a deli sandwich I mean I literally cannot eat a deli sandwich, as in I will likely go into a total breakdown or physically throw up if I am forced to. I get nauseous even trying to make one.

Read this article if you’re having a rough day. This is a rare story about positive social change.

Every state now has laws against school bullying. In the past decade, many districts have overhauled discipline policies and created interventions to increase mutual respect at school. Pop culture and the news media have focused on the harm that is done when children target each other with cruel treatment. Marginalized groups have found solidarity in social media campaigns such as It Gets Better and World Autism Awareness Day, underlining the message that everyone is worthy of learning in a safe environment.

And, according to a big new study in the journal Pediatrics, bullying is down. In 2005, 28.5 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing at least one form of bullying. By 2014, that had dropped more than half, to 13.4 percent.

School Bullying Is Down. Why Don’t Students Believe It?

Illustration: LA Johnson/NPR

“If you’re happy and you know it, flap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, flap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, and you want to stim and show it
If you’re happy and you know it, flap your hands”
*flap flap*

anonymous asked:

Can you explain the harms that "Autism Speaks" causes? As someone who does not know much about autism, what are things the world and people in general can do that it will make the world seem less tailored to allistic people?

Okay a few things about Autism Speaks:

  • They perpetuate the lie that autism needs a cure.
  • They’re a profit making organisation. They have people working there with six salary figures, and they spend the majority of their money on researching for a cure and advertising (usually hate and fear mongering about autism). Less than 5% of their money goes to helping autistic people.
  • They have no autistic people on their Board of Directors. They’ve only had one in the ten years they’ve been going, he left because he couldn’t convince them to stop their ableism.
  • They continuously ignore autistic people when we tell them we don’t like what they’re doing and refuse to talk publicly about the controversies surrounding them.
  • They encourage ABA therapy to get autistic kids to act more normal. ABA therapy is essentially dog training for humans, kids spend I think 30 hours a week in it and they are punished when they fail to behave in the way their trainers want them too (e.g. not maintaining eye contact, when eye contact can be uncomfortable and in some cases painful for many autistic people). In the most extreme cases, electric shocks have been used.
  • In one of their videos “raising awarenss” about the “tragedy” of autism, a mother of an autistic child said she wanted to commit murder-suicide with/of her autistic child, and only didn’t because she had a non-autistic child to look after. She said this while her autistic child was in the room.
  • They’ve plagiarised at least one autistic person and threatened to sue an autistic teenager who made a parody of their website.

And there is sooo much more. If you want more details, you can look here or here. Or just google “Autism Speaks problematic” because there is so much of it.

As for ways people can help:

  • Spread awareness of the fact that there’s nothing wrong with autism, inform people about how Autism Speaks are problematic, listen to autistic people when they tell you ways you can help them (and things you’re doing which aren’t great).
  • On tumblr, try to remember to tag things like misinformation and sarcasm. And in real life, if you’re speaking with an autistic person who has trouble with sarcasm (if you’re not sure whether they have trouble, ask them), let them know when you’re being sarcastic. When tumblr posts say things like “don’t explain the joke”, explain the joke.
  • Don’t judge people for doing or saying something “weird”. (I mean, this is a pretty good thing to do whether or not people are autistic. And remember that you might not know whether someone is autistic or not.)
  • If you know someone is autistic and they break a social rule, just tell them, don’t get upset at them for it.
  • Don’t assume people aren’t listening to you, just because they’re not looking at your eyes, or they’re moving their bodies, or fiddling with something.
  • Don’t try to get autistic people to be still when they’re stimming (fiddling, hand flapping, rocking backwards and forwards etc).
  • Sometimes autistic people will act childishly, there’s nothing wrong with that. (The other day I was pretending to be a dinosaur while in a shop, because I enjoy doing it and if other people think it’s weird, it’s none of their business. Some autistic people will know, like me, that what they’re doing is a weird thing to do in public, so don’t assume it’s just social ignorance, we just don’t tend to care about conformity. Other autistic people won’t know But either way, as long as we’re not causing any harm, if other people don’t like it then that’s their problem.)
  • Remember that autistic people often express emotions in different ways to allistic (non-autistic) people.
  • Try to listen to autistic people when they’re info dumping about their special interests. I know it can be exhausting sometimes, but even just trying to listen is usually appreciated.
  • Don’t assume everyone you meet is allistic.
  • Read about autistic experiences if you see them talked about. We’re all different so it might help you get a better understanding as a whole.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I know you’ve guys have probably seen a lot of posts like this so I’ll try to keep it short.
Autism is not a disease and it certainly is not characterized by stupidity. Autism is a different way of looking at things.
Nobody “looks” autistic because nobody is just autistic.
So as my little brother says “Don’t judge just be fudge”.

3

This is my brother William, and he is #Autistic

William was born the day after my 9th birthday on October 15th at 11:58pm.

There were complications, and we weren’t really sure if he and my mom were going to make it. William’s the 10th in our family of 11 children, and kind of our miracle child.

Before William was born, we all took bets on his weight to determine who would get to hold him first.

I won the bet, but William stayed in the ICU for another two weeks after my mom came home, so I couldn’t hold him until then.

I saw him for the first time through a glass window. He had needles taped to his hands, a tiny, round, little face, big eyes, and spiky black hair.

We didn’t know William was autistic until he turned 3 and still wasn’t talking.

To be honest, at 12, whether William was autistic or not made no difference to me, still doesn’t, but there’s something about watching your 6 year old brother spell his name on a piece of paper when you weren’t even sure he’d ever talk or write on his own that just hits you right in the soul.

William had a language I didn’t realize only my family understood until I saw other people try to interact with him.

They couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, and all I could think was, “wow, he wants you to not pinch his cheeks, lady.”

When William turned 7, he started talking. Like, really talking. The funny part is, I was so used to understanding grunts, mumbles, blabber, and gestures, I didn’t even notice.

A friend who hadn’t seen William in a while came over and said, “Whoa, Dana, he’s talking!”

Since then, William hasn’t stopped talking.

These days he sleeps on the bottom bunk of our bunk bed in the room he shares with my sister and I.

He wakes up at 5am and whispers, “Dana? Is anyone there? I’m so humgry.”

(HuMgry not huNgry.)

He plays with the neighbor kids, and laughs like a hyena over the most ridiculous things.
And he’s obsessed with all of us being his “fwends” forever.

William has autism, I know.

But to me he’s just my crazy kid brother who eats enough “bread, butter, shelly(ie: jelly)” sandwiches to put us out of house and home.

He’s the baby I stayed awake and listened to cry all night, every night as my mom tried to soothe him after he came home from the hospital.

He’s the kid I honed all my mad babysitting skills on when I was 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and now 18.

I believe William’s going to grow up and conquer the world in whatever way he decides he wants to.

And I think the more people aware that autism isn’t synonymous to ‘stupid’ the better off the world will be.

Happy World Autism Day/Autism Acceptance Month! 

I’m celebrating today by glamming up, not only for myself, but also for all the people who’ve said I can’t be autistic purely based on the way I look (whatever that means). 

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of my diagnosis, and I’ve been openly and unapologetically autistic ever since :) 

World Autism Awareness Day

Apparently that’s a thing! Didn’t even know until I saw it on the news.

Did you know I have high-functioning autism? What does that mean for me? Honestly, not a huge amount! It did mean it took me a while to find my place in society, but in adulthood, it means I have the ability to have immense focus on anything that I deem interesting, (drawing, etc.) the freedom to not let society’s ideas of normal bog me down in my life’s endeavors, and occasionally take things hilariously literally. 

I tend to not use facial expressions too communicate much, which means I constantly gesture with my hands! This leads to some very animated conversations with people. Perhaps that’s why I found animation such a passion.

MYTH: Autistic people don’t feel emotion. False. Autistic people seem emotionless because they don’t communicate it as well. There is argument in some circles that autistic people have so much emotion, they have difficulty handling it, which can lead to meltdowns.

Above: My also high-functioning autistic fiance. We are both very much in love!

Other things: Sensitivity to stimuli. I HATE sounds. As I can’t drown sounds out, or filter information out, I can get overloaded. I basically always have white noise running when I’m at work/at the ready on the bus.

Co-morbidity. With autism comes other things, sometimes. OCD, ADHD, and many other things. Personally I have Tourette’s, too, which leads to me often sounding like a pigeon when I least need it. And winking. When I really don’t need that either.

Autism, hey. It’s a thing!