Autism Fact: People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can be autistic, although it appears to affect more men than women.
I figured I’d be doing a good thing by participating in RJ Scott's Autism blog hop and raising awareness about autism and living with the disability. But then I realized I didn’t know much about autism at all; I’ve never personally encountered someone who I knew was autistic or even on the spectrum. So how could I help raise awareness when I myself was barely aware of the stats and facts about autism?
Realizing my ignorance, I reached out to a friend of mine who has a Masters in special education and has worked hands-on with autistic children—and she had tons to say about the developmental disability and how we approach it.
Autistic individuals often are judged and even pitied. Adults blame meltdowns and tantrums on bad parenting. They are teased by their peers and ridiculed. Strangers stare at them.
During April, autism is brought to the forefront and we are confronted with the reality that autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world. We are presented with “success stories” of folks who have learned to function in our world despite their (as we see it) shortcomings. We are reminded that we must react with compassion, not pity or irritation.
But unless we personally cope with or encounter autistic people in our daily lives, we forget to be patient and kind. We revert to our ignorance. We begin to look at those with autism as people who are “less than” or “difficult.” However, if you have autism or have a loved one who does, you know that’s not true, and there’s no forgetting or ignoring. People who have autism live with it twelve months of the year—not just one—and they deserve much more from us every single day.
My friend who teaches autistic children taught me that I must always be compassionate toward those who have or live with autism, and it is my hope that everyone with autism encounters nothing but kindness and patience as they live each day in every month.
Thanks for stopping by my blog for the hop! I'm giving away winner's choice of any eBook in my Dallas Comets series (excluding Dump and Chase, since it's not out yet).
Just comment below with your e-mail address (so I can contact you if you're the winner). Comments are moderated, so they will not be published or made public. Your e-mail address will be kept confidential, and will not be used beyond entry into this contest.
I will pick a random winner on May 1st, after Autism Awareness Month is over.
Good luck to all! And be sure to check out all the blogs on schedule for the blog hop!