The debates within the autism community continue to rage on, and one of the trendiest arguments to have right now is whether you support Autism Awareness or Autism Acceptance (as if supporting both is somehow not an option). There are those who will have you believe that the national nonprofits that promote Autism Awareness are not doing enough – “Promoting awareness is not enough!”
I’m here to tell you that this move to the south has proved that we still have a long way to go with Autism Awareness.
I’m not going to generalize about this region, although it is shocking how few services there are here in comparison with where I lived up north. What resources are here are new, as in within-the-past-few-years new, and I think, “We should be past this shouldn’t we?..”
I’ve communicated with teachers who claimed to have no previous knowledge whatsoever of the types of common autistic traits The Boy exhibits, and how to modify and adjust for that in their classrooms. New teachers and old teachers alike who have no awareness.
And my struggles with The Boy’s current placement have shown me that his school, although having had autistic students in the past, is still quite ignorant about just what autism is.
So yes, I wholeheartedly support Autism Acceptance – what parent of a child on the spectrum wouldn’t?? But I must say that even today, Awareness alone isn’t a safe bet. And I believe you have to start somewhere.