Why #Autism Awareness is still failing in 2016

Disclaimer: I want to make sure that you understand that I’m not criticizing anyone who may choose to support the Light it Up Blue campaign. Everyone must do what they feel is right for themselves and their families. If you do what you feel in your heart is best, you can’t go wrong…at least in my book.

April is here once again and we’re kicking off another Autism Awareness month. In the past I would get all excited about what this month meant but as time and reality set in, I’ve realized that April is really just another month.



Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see the world interested in the lives of people and families touched by Autism but are they really, interested that is? Is it really about people with Autism and their families? Is it really?

Here’s one of the biggest reasons I no longer get excited about Autism Awareness month.

Rather than working together to accomplish great things for the people and families impacted by Autism, the entire month becomes a money grab for Autism organizations that in some cases, have lost touch with the very people they’re supposed to be helping.



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Autism Awareness month should be a time when we come together as a community to help the world better understand what life with Autism is like for both the person directly impacted and their families or caregivers.

Instead of humanizing Autism and helping people better understand or relate, we’re screwing in blue light bulbs.  How exactly does illuminating a skyscraper with blue lights, help a family struggling with Autism? How exactly does a blue light bulb help people understand what Autism is?

I suppose, you could learn what Autism is like through the eyes of a multimillion dollar organization who has all but completely alienated the very people they’re supposed to be helping.

Unfortunately, when some organizations speak, they are not actually representing anyone but themselves and their agenda. That’s not to say that funding research isn’t important because it is.  In fact, it’s crucial but should that be more important than the millions around the world, already dealing with Autism and often struggling with it every single day?

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This blog is called The Autism Dad for a few reasons but the most important of which is that I’m a Dad to three boys with Autism.

I have a vested interest in seeing the world become a more informed, warm, inviting, accepting and understanding place for my kids.  I do have somewhat of a platform and I really want to use it in a way that not only benefits my family but everyone else as well.

Of course, not everyone will agree with my views and that’s perfectly okay.  Many times, our views are based on life experience and since everyone’s experience with Autism can be unique, the same can be said for our views.

That being said, here’s the thing….

Autism Awareness month or whatever you personally choose to call it, is a time where the spotlight should be pointed directly at families and people with Autism themselves.  Who better to educate society about the many facets of Autism, than the people living with….

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6 Comments on "Why #Autism Awareness is still failing in 2016"

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thekaty
Guest

Thank you for sharing this post! I would love to see more actual Autism awareness happen instead of just “screwing in blue lightbulbs.” I have two sons with Autism and it would great if people could understand a little bit more about our family instead of just staring. Big hugs. I’ll check out the group and good luck on the rest of the #AtoZChallenge
-Katy from THE KATY blog (www.thekatyblog.com)

Rob Gorski
Guest

Thanks…. I hope you join the group and share your posts… I’ll check your blog out as well.. ☺

Anne
Guest

Great Post and you are so right. I’m creating awareness with a group of blogging friends by linking up each others posts in a blog hope and sharing them all throughout the month. Although, to be fair, autism awareness should last longer than a month!

Rob Gorski
Guest

Thanks and you’re right.. Autism Awareness is 24/7/365

Special Needs Nigeria
Guest

Great Post, Autism Awareness should be more than what we all have today,Although its more difficult breaking the barriers and myths in countries like mine where we don’t have the resources and people affected tend to hide away from the Society. I blog at (http://www.cuddlesandcarehomes.com) where i want to bring Information about Special Needs together in one Place as well to create awareness too

Rob Gorski
Guest

Thank you and thank you for the work you do.. ☺