Hello! It’s April, and you know what that means… Autism Awareness Month. Or does it?
Last year, the largest grassroots autism organization in America (The Autism Society of America) decided to rename their celebration as Autism Acceptance Month (AAM). Other groups have been using the new name for longer, but, in any case, the new name is really taking off!
As Christopher Banks (the president and CEO of The Autism Society of America), says, "Awareness is knowing that somebody has autism. Acceptance is when you include (a person with autism) in your activities." [emphasis ours]
World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd) has not been renamed, but its focus has changed.
Originally, its focus was on “autistic children and finding a cure," as Ludmila Praslova, a professor and director of graduate programs who also experiences autism, explained. She says that many folks now focus on "acceptance and inclusion rather than a cure…” and celebrating “diversity and completeness."
Sounds good to us!