Why Celebrate Autism Awareness Month?
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
by Melissa Lushington, "Don't Cut Corners...Unless It's Cake" - Blog 4
Hello VIPers! Welcome to blog number four in the month of April!
You know when I was a kid growing up, I always thought that the month of April was about Easter, April Fools Day, and even the month where we get many showers in order to bring many flowers in the month of May. Now I know that the month of April is about something just as big or bigger than all of those things, because this month is about you, about me, and about us. This is Autism Awareness Month, and it starts on April 1st through April 30th. According to a website called Charity Navigator, Autism Awareness Month is a time when people are brought together to help spread awareness about autism and the autism spectrum disorder in order to support those living with it.
If you’ve read my previous blog, then you know that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is about having a range of conditions that are often characterized by challenges with social, behavioral, and communication skills. While autism month is celebrated by colors of blue, one person expresses her fury in red. In an article titled My three daughters are autistic. I despise Autism Awareness Month, a woman name Kim Stagliano explains that the reason why she hates Autism Awareness Month is because it does little to educate people about the conditions of Autism and does more to sell merchandise and have pep rallies about it. She also explains how it does little for the autism community in terms of raising money for social programs and does more to throw celebratory get-togethers to celebrate the autism community. This is coming from someone who’s not only a mother of three autistic daughters, but she is also an Author of a memoir she wrote titled, All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa: A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism and she’s a nationally recognized advocate and speaker for autism. In her article, Kim explains what the best thing for the autism community should be when she states, “What the autism community needs isn’t a party, but a sense of urgency and true crisis. They need advocates committed not only to getting them the acceptance they deserve, but also the critical help they require to survive, in the form of social programs, education, safety and employment opportunities.” She also suggests the best way to commemorate Autism Awareness Month when she states, “The best way we can support Autism Awareness Month is to turn it into Autism Action Month. People with autism deserve a bright – not just a blue – future.” In 2009, a take of action happened in honor of autism just in time for this special occasion of Autism Awareness Month. That take of action, is this blog that is powered byVerge of Independence Project. It is a small grass-roots organization, but its purpose, tall in stature counts for everything that Autism Awareness Month stands for. Through the use of Verge of Independence Project, we not only lift people up and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals with autism, but we also educate people about ASD through online engagement and by providing blogs filled with research, resources, and real-life stories and testimonials. Providing the blogs is why I’m here. It is my job to bring you monthly blogs to not only uplift the autism community, but to also educate people to help them better understand the autism community. If you look at my second blog post titled, I Am Who I Am, you’ll see that the blog post is dedicated to educating people about what autism is, what its symptoms are, how to treat it, and more.
To conclude, Autism Awareness Month (whether you love it or hate it) is a very special occasion for people like me. It’s an occasion that’s about celebrating our differences, as well educating people about our differences because of the disorder of autism. If you are an individual with autism, I hope that after reading this blog you’ll be able to look at the month of April in the same new light that I did, wherein you see it as a special month that is dedicated to you by celebrating you and your uniqueness. If you are someone who doesn’t have autism, but you know someone who does, I hope that after reading this blog, you use this as an opportunity to not only celebrate and appreciate the unique amazing qualities that the autism community has to offer, but that you also use it as an opportunity to better educate yourselves about autism, and why Autism Awareness Month is such an important contribution for any community.