I have been thinking of new ways to spread Autism Awareness and I have implemented a few of them. However, I always come back to the same answer. I think, in fact I truly believe that the best way to spread Autism Awareness is by “helping” people to understand. It’s human nature to shut down when someone begins preaching to you and I think that the words then fall on deaf ears. Most people don’t care what you have to say if you are trying to force your position on them.
I honestly believe the best way to spread Autism Awareness is to “help” others to understand. Let me explain what I mean. When I was in high school I had the most amazing history teacher. I took his class all 4 years and even took his night class while in college. The reason I liked him so much was because he didn’t lecture or preach. He rarely ever opened the text books either. He just loved world/American history. He taught us using stories and they didn’t always coincide with the what the text books said but sure enough if you did some research you would find that his version was supported by facts historical documentation. He captivated all of us by approaching history in this manor. I learned so much and took his every class I could get into for 6 years.
The reason I bring this up is because I think with something as important as Autism Awareness we have to be careful how we approach it. I think that is partly why this blog is so successful. I have found that by simply sharing my family’s story in a very honest way that people respond in a very positive manner. I have readers that have come to my blog for the sole purpose of downloading my midNIGHT ROM for the Epic 4G Android smartphone. They have sent me literally countless messages stating how they find themselves coming back to read more about my family. I think the reason for that is because by sharing my story people can relate. I think that most people can put themselves in my shoes and imagine what it would feel like to hear the words “Emmett is Autistic” from the specialist after months and months of testing.
By sharing our stories we allow people to become Autism Aware in “their own” way. Why does it have to be “our” way or not at all? By opening up our lives to the world we allow others to see for themselves what Autism is like. If we want to be accepted and our children to be accepted then why would we try to force people to see things “our” way. In my experience all that does is drive people and leave a VERY bad first impression. As a community we can’t afford to let that happen.
The first step towards Autism Awareness is understanding. What better way to help people understand then by allowing them to step into your world for just a little while. Let them see what your life is like the good and the bad. Let them share in your joy as well as your heartache. I promise you, people will get there on their own. It’s hard to understand when you can’t relate. By sharing our stories we are doing just that, helping people relate.
In the end all that matters is they know more now then they did before. I have found great success with this approach. The public response has been one of compassion and even curiosity. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have told me “they just didn’t know”. I hear all the time that “this is not what Autism is like on TV”. A dialog has begun. I need your help to keep it going. Please share your stories so the world can understand what Autism is through your eyes. What better way to spread Autism Awareness…..
lost and tired
You are absolutely right.. I know several people who are bi-polar or paranoid schizophrenic but I don't believe i know any autistic children. So even though I am a understanding person I really can't relate to a word. But once you tell your story it creates an emotional connection and then breaks down the word into a real life scenario so we can understand. Keep it up I always read your blog even when I dont update midNIGHT lol Im 2 releases behind!