Today kicks of the start off Autism Awareness Month. Began by the Autism Society in the early 70's to address the need for concern and awareness of autism nationwide. Autism Awareness Month is a month to educate, connect, and advocate for the needs of those on the autism spectrum. In 1984 World Autism Awareness Day was adopted by congress, and officially by the UN in 2007 as a day of autism awareness for the entire world to observe every year on April 2nd.
Today, the world indeed seems to be aware of autism. We have certainly come a long way from the early years of connecting with others in the late 60's when the Autism Society was formed. We now have not just national attention, but international attention focused on the issue of autism. With all of that attention focused from so many different backgrounds of people conflicts are bound to arise. The autism community is not immune to human differences of opinion that can bring even the most well meaning ideas to a screeching halt. Some want awareness for a cure, others to raise money for prevention, and research. Others just simply want their neighbors to know that their child is a unique individual with a happy future, and that acceptance is paramount to any other reasons for the campaign. Still, many others feel the entire campaign overlooks the humanity of the people involved, and instead portrays autistics as statistics, instead of real living people. Many point to the fact that adults are almost totally overlooked as every campaign slogan, and graphic speaks only about children.
Many of us in the autism community have conflicted feelings about Autism Awareness Month. I have seen some express that they aren't looking forward to it at all. Is that how the majority feels? Would most just like to skip it? If so, how has this grand intention of autism awareness turned so sour that even those that this month is about don't want to participate? I wanted to hear from those in the autism community about how they feel about Autism Awareness month. Below is a collection of direct quotes from a few people within the autism community about the subject. Please add yours to the comments section.