Okay, folks, it’s Autism Awareness Month, and there are a million ways to celebrate. Everyone is different, and raising awareness can take many forms. I’ve been very vocal about my feelings about this over the years. I feel it’s so important that we focus on the people and less on the large organizations during the only time of year when people are paying closer attention.
The truth is, you can raise awareness is countless ways.
I’m a huge fan of sharing personal experience because it’s a great way to help people form a more emotional connection and that helps them better relate. Some people screw in blue light bulbs, and that’s okay too. Some people like to more subtly raise awareness year-round with things like Autism Awareness ribbons, magnets and even Autism Awareness jewelry.
There are plenty of clothing options that can help you spread awareness about autism. It can also help educate others. I have often found in my experience if me or any one of the kids are wearing autism awareness t shirts, then people stop and try to strike a conversation. I think that the visual publicity can help spread compassion around this difficult issue.
The important thing is that people do something positive to call attention to Autism. While I don’t personally support the massive marketing campaigns, I respect that many others do.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re writing articles about your personal experience as an Autism parent, screwing in a blue light bulb or wearing an Autism Awareness charm or bracelet. If you’re helping to further the conversation in a positive way, that’s an excellent thing. Autism Awareness month should be about the people and helping those around us gain a better understanding of what Autism is, what Autism isn’t, and how they might be able better support those with Autism, as well as their families.