Today we have a Guest Post by Cynthia Dixon, Author of Raising Rainbows
Who Needs Autism Awareness ?
It’s natural to overlook things that seem irrelevant to you. People who don’t invest in the stock market aren’t going to stop to read the latest Dow reports. Why would they? And likewise, people who don’t live with autism tend to skip over autism related materials. They don’t see how any of it relates to them. What’s with all of this autism awareness anyway? Why do they need to be aware of a disorder that doesn’t even affect them? So I’m here to clear up a few things about autism awareness.
First of all, if you think autism doesn’t affect you, you’re mistaken. Autism affects everyone! Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US. The latest CDC findings suggest that about 1 in 68 children in the US are diagnosed with autism. Let’s think about those statistics for a minute. I don’t know about you, but I rarely go out into a public situation in which I’m not surrounded by more than 68 people. There are more than 68 people in most grocery stores, movie theaters, doctor’s offices, churches, shopping malls, and even many restaurants. So statistically speaking, you stand a good chance of encountering someone on the autism spectrum almost every time you leave your home.
Which brings me to my next point. You may pride yourself as someone who’s accepting of all disabilities, but what if you don’t even realize there’s a disability? If you have limited knowledge of autism, you may not even recognize it when you see it. Autism is pretty much invisible. It affects how people behave and think, but not their appearance. This makes it really easy for people to mistake autistic behavior as rude, strange, or even blatantly offensive. Autistic meltdowns can look a lot like temper tantrums. A lack of social skills and an abundance of overwhelming honesty can appear obnoxious or insulting. Repetitive movements and vocalizations can come across as strange and annoying. But if you understand autism, you start to look at people and situations differently and realize that sometimes things aren’t always as they seem.
That’s what autism awareness is all about. And that’s why I’m so dedicated to spreading it wherever I can. As an autism parent, I want my children to be understood. I want others to see them for the incredible people they are. I want them to grow up in a world that “gets” them. That’s the main reason I write.
Unfortunately, when the subject of autism arises, people who believe it doesn’t affect them tend to lose interest, leaving those of us living with it as the main audience. It helps us to hear about others living with autism. For us, it’s more of a team spirit, I’m not alone in the world, I totally get it type of camaraderie. But we aren’t the ones in need of awareness. We’re up to our eyeballs in awareness! We’re aware of the unwanted attention autistic behaviors can attract, and how rude and judgmental people can be. We’re aware of the numerous challenges that come along with an autism diagnosis, and many of us are painfully aware of the human body’s capacity to function without sleep. When we talk about autism awareness, we’re talking to the rest of the world.
So if you’ve ever wondered why the autism community is always getting in everyone’s face about autism awareness, now you know. You may not think that autism affects you, but your lack of knowledge definitely affects people living with autism.
In my new book, Raising Rainbows, I attempt to offer some insight into the world of autism by opening a small window into my life raising children on the spectrum. I share information that I feel like everyone should know about autism. With numbers on the rise, autistic individuals and their loved ones make up a large portion of the population. There is no cure for autism. But there is a cure for the negative way that autistic people are often treated. It’s called awareness and acceptance. I encourage you to be a part of this cure.
This wonderful book is available at
Cynthia Dixon is a mom, wife, autism advocate, and writer. She is the author of Raising Rainbows, a book about her experiences as a mother of two boys on the autism spectrum. When she isn’t attending therapy sessions, struggling to ensure that her children receive that free and appropriate public education they’ve been promised, cleaning up messes, or cooking dinner, you can find her binge watching television shows on Netflix at ridiculous hours of the night, and probably eating the kids’ chocolate. She doesn’t claim to be a perfect parent, just a loving one, trying to figure it out as she goes, and sharing her journey along the way.
—————————————–> You can also visit her on TWITTER
Bookroom Reviews would like to thank Cynthia for this Enlightening Article please leave a comment to let her know what you think
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