The trouble with Autism “Awareness”
Where is the integration, the facilitation and the understanding?
People say they’re “aware” but they don’t facilitate the differences, and open their minds to how life could be so much easier for us. This is why I see acceptance as so much better than awareness.
Being aware but not providing means for autistic people to function is like expecting women to use urinals. It makes us seem more faulty than we are because we’re always struggling with how to cope with systems that don’t include our needs.
A lot of mental health problems in autistic people are as a direct result of living the wrong life.
How about thinking; ‘I can see how this might not suit you. You shouldn’t have to do this’ ? How about asking what you can do to make life more comfortable rather than assuming there is something wrong with us?
I originally wrote the opening comments above in a group for autistic women. We are diverse, interesting, wonderful, inquisitive, emotive women from all walks of life with vastly different experiences of life and vastly different personalities and opinions. The support and acceptance between the women is truly lovely. We have lots in common and we have lots not in common and there are heated disagreements but I’d say the pervading themes are of frustration at a lack of understanding and exhaustion from living in a modern world that doesn’t try to accommodate us or alleviate our pain.
More non-autistic people are pleased with themselves that they are now “aware” of autism, and – bless you – you all “Love someone with autism” 😖 … thanks for that… but that doesn’t mean more people understand or listen or are prepared to challenge themselves on their own actions and assumptions.