By Alex Linker
This year marks the tenth celebration of April as Autism Awareness Month.
However, with 1 in 68 people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, most of us already know an autistic person. What we need is not for people to be aware that we exist – we have awareness. Rather, it’s time for allistic (non-autistic) people to move on from awareness and to learn to accept and appreciate us as autistic people, and also for us to learn to accept ourselves as autistic people.
For 10 years, we’ve spent April hearing from companies such as Autism Speaks (that has no autistic people in leadership positions) when we should, in fact, be listening to groups such as Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a group of autistic people sharing their own experiences.
Why are our autistic voices ignored? Why is less value placed on the opinions of autistic people than that of allistic family, friends, and doctors?
By promoting autism “awareness”, you’re suppressing the very people you claim to support. Rather, engage with autistic voices and listen to what we say.
So this April, don’t #LightItUpBlue for awareness, but #WalkInRed for acceptance!
List of popular/good autistic voices:
A more complete list is available here: